BREAKING NEWS: Teenager Arrested Over Malicious Tweets To Tom Daley

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A 17 year old teenager, from Weymouth, has been arrested today after sending offensive tweets to Olympic diver Tom Daley yesterday.

After finishing 4th yesterday in the synchronised diving event, Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) received a tweet from another user @Rileyy_69 sent a tweet to the Olympic diver saying “you let your dad down i hope you know that”.  Daley’s father died last year after a battle with cancer.

Tom Daley responded with a tweet on his own profile saying “After giving it my all…you get idiot’s sending me this…RT”.

Prior to the Olympics, Daley has spoken fondly of his father and stated that he “gave me all the inspiration that I’ve needed”.

The response on Twitter was of disgust towards the user known as Rileyy_69 with messages of support for Daley being sent from other Twitter users.

This is the latest of a number of arrests made by Police with regards to harassment and offensive messages on the social networking site, with a man previously being arrested for sending threats to Tory MP Louise Mensch.

After creating somewhat of a scandal on Twitter yesterday with his comments, Rileyy_69 attempted an apology to Daley tweeting “TomDaley1994 I’m sorry mate i just wanted you to win cause its the olympics I’m just annoyed we didn’t win I’m sorry tom accept my apology.” and “please i don’t want to be hated I’m just sorry you didn’t win i was rooting for you pal to do britain all proud just so upset.”

Several news sources are stating that Rileyy_69’s account has been suspended by the social networking site, however the account appears to be fully accessible now, albeit with the profile set to ‘private’ so only current followers can see his full profile.

This news story again highlights the fact that the Police are taking ‘social networking crime’ seriously and that statements, harassment and abuse using social networks can have serious consequences.  Many Internet users still believe that a lot of their activity online is anonymous but the latest string of social networking arrests proves how easy it can be for users to be traced by computing professionals if necessary.

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Ben Stones
10 years ago

Hmm…I hope I’m permitted to say this considering we are supposed to be living in a democracy; but I’m not entirely sure how someone can be arrested for saying something that is hardly nothing more than ignorant behaviour. Can I get someone arrested for insulting me on YouTube if they live in the UK now? There’s plenty of people that have insulted me online so I assume it’s OK for me to report them and be arrested for it?

I would have hoped the person’s comment comes under freedom of speech and expression, but evidently not. While I could imagine Tom would be upset by the comment (not very nice thing to say in my personal opinion), I think getting someone arrested for saying something as small as that is concerning to our freedom to speak without fear of being arrested for expresssing our opinion. For all anyone knows, that person may be merely expressing their opinion about how Tom performed during the Olympics. Not that I’m interested in the Olympics much.

I think there needs to be tougher laws to protect freedom of speech & expression in the UK / EU. I do not agree with someone being arrested to what some journalists are calling a “sickening” message. I can’t help but think this has been blown out of reasonable proportion and it’s unfair to be targeting a 17 year old for a simple ignorant and misunderstood tweet this person had made.

I am offended by your post David. Yes, you didn’t say much of an opinion yourself, but I can understand both sides; but sometimes we have to bite our tongue and accept people’s behaviour and focus on the people in our lives we care about and ignore the ones who are ignorant and say “malicious” things.

If it’s so easy to be arrested for saying something as simple as that then there’s something very seriously wrong with our fundamental rights to speak reasonably freely. Sure, there’s boundaries and most rational people know what the limits are, but I am more disgusted by an arrest on a 17 year old for a very simple, yet offensive, comment than the comment itself.

Ben Stones
10 years ago

I still cannot justify having someone arrested for an offensive comment. This is the Internet; people are bound to post offensive comments because of the way people are. I find it unacceptable to arrest someone for saying something that should have reasonable grounds under freedom to express yourself; which is a freedom I thought we had under the law.

Yes, I understand why the person was arrested. Thomas’ father had passed away from cancer and this is why the tweet was offensive; but blowing it out of proportion is just as unacceptable and the press can be disproportional because there is a justification to do so.

I’m not going to be biased and derail the person making the message because I don’t know the person nor is it any better to say how unacceptable and “sickening” the message is without knowing the facts and the reason and context of the message and why it was tweeted.

Twitter suspending the account is another matter which I don’t like either. Not sure why Twitter suspends an account for saying something moderately offensive because the person who was tweeted to is well known to the public.

Why don’t we get over ourselves and enjoy the Olympics and perhaps smile for a bit? So much noise nowadays. It’s apparently breaking news that someone has been arrested for sending a stupid tweet. Meanwhile people crying over an offensive tweet, some random people would have been killed on our motorways in an accident and their family has to live with that – seeing as a lot of people want to moan.

Ben Stones
10 years ago

Adding onto the end:

Hence, what’s your priority?

Ben Stones
10 years ago

Wasn’t specifically referring to you by “Hence, what’s your priority?” – I was referring more to people raging over someone’s comment to a person on Twitter versus them perhaps commenting about something more important such as someone crashing on a motorway or someone suffering due to a terminal illness, or someone being bullied or ANHYTHING ELSE that we don’t really talk about much – or at least, as much as the other “very important” subjects which often concern publicly-known people(!).

And obviously David, Twitter being a company they have the right to do whatever they want (under reasonable grounds) – suspend accounts, remove tweets, etc. etc. I actually do believe that there should be an element of responsibility with companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook as to when it goes a little too far with freedom of speech before it becomes fair enough to start slapping account terminations because of very offensive behaviour – realistically, no one likes that sort of behaviour.

I still do not understand how it is so damn offensive for someone to post a tweet like that. Yes, the way you THINK about it is offensive. But what did the person writing it think? What did they intend? Who knows. Unless we’re all perfect mind readers we won’t know unless this person says. And as much as you can believe this person intended xyz; unless you ask him, you could be wrong.

The primary concern I have, David, is that my belief is this person’s “insult” (to a fashion) should be protected under the freedom for one to reasonably express themselves. It’s really simple to ignore someone. In fact, you can EVEN REPLY to such an insulting person – it’s really easy. But is it fair to have a 17 year old arrested for a simple tweet that perhaps was upsetting to Tom? Sure, it’s a matter of opinion; and my answer to my question is no. I don’t think it is fair.

Without doubt everyone has a different opinion on this.


[…] has been revealed today that the Weymouth teenager arrested yesterday with regards to messages sent on social networking site Twitter had threatened to drown Olympic […]


[…] on from our news item earlier on today, which reported on the arrest of a Weymouth teenager for sending malicious tweets to Team GB diver Tom Daley, it has been confirmed that the teenager in question has been released with a harassment warning […]

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