The latest furore concerns Olympic hopeful Tom Daley. Tom has been an inspiration throughout his as yet brief diving career. The death of his father recently will have hit him hard. He is still very young plus his father was an integral part of Tom's sporting career. News that he was abused on Twitter is not nice. We choose those words carefully. The tweet was insensitive and callous. It was aimed below the belt. Did it warrant that the Internet Troll involved was arrested, we would say probably not.
So the offending tweet - 'You let your dad down i hope you know that,' to which Daley responded by tweeting: 'After giving it my all... you get idiots sending me this...' Yes that sums up the tweeter perfectly. Does the tweet make him a criminal or just an idiot?
What the case shows is that our every Internet move in the UK is probably being monitored. That there is no hiding place, especially for "Internet Trolls". As far as trolls goes that may be right but surely ti depends on what is said.
Had Tom been a footballer he may have had the same shouted at him as he left the pitch. Would that have led to an arrest also? Free speech is something we must surely want to guard in the UK. How far is too far when the authorities monitor online activity and arrest following what was intrinsically a schoolyard taunt.
In the UK in the fifties we were taught by our parents "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me". That may not always be true but are we moving a step too far too the Right?
The perpetrator currently under arrest and being questioned by police is a 17-year-old boy. Was he just a foolish young man or was he malicious. Bravado can play a part when tweeting as it is easy to sit behind closed doors out of reach. It is of course the coward's way rather than saying something to a person's face.
But what about free speech?
Well that is for you to decide. Only four days ago a tweeter in the UK arrested and sentenced after tweeting what he meant as a joke has his sentence overturned. Supported by a barrage of celebrities in the UK the courrt decision to overturn his sentence was seen as a ruling for good sense.
Paul Chambers, due to fly our of Doncaster's Robin Hood airport had been angry when bad weather prevented flights. The allegedly menacing tweet he posted was, "Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your s--- together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high." The change of face however was largely due to the fact that the tweet had not been originally viewed as a credible threat.
The lessons we need to learn are that we must use more thought when tweeting and posting on social networks. The lesson the authorities need to learn is to use common sense and act accordingly.
Many in the UK view the country as developing into an ever restrictive police state. As in the USA much of this tightening of lif is said to be due to security worries. In truth it is about more than that.
As we hit the publish button, tweet and post on facebook we hold our breath, hoping that we have not gone too far.....