A Usenet Post
Date: 14 May 1999 00:00:00 GMT Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> [typos corrected] BTInternet to Clamp Down on Rude Words Events in the local technical support group for BTInternet took a bizarre turn this week when manager Nick Truman threatened gatecrashers with criminal proceedings if they didn't moderate their language. Chris Buckley, the kid at the centre of the row, replied: > If there was *ANY* truth in what NT has stated then > everyone on Usenet would have been sued by now. You may be right Chris... A Courtroom. Judge: One moment, Mr Truman, is the dispute something to do with this Internet thing I keep hearing about? Truman: Yes M'lud. Judge: Don't understand it myself. My grandchildren do. So tell me, Mr Truman, are you basically selling pornography by computer? Truman: No, no, no, M'lud! Judge: Very serious business, pornography. What exactly is your job, Mr Truman? Truman: I'm BTi's IMS Helpdesk Support Manager. Judge: Again, please? In English this time. Truman: I manage the helpdesk for BTi. Judge: You manage a desk? Truman: I organise the people who give help to other people who can't get connected to the Internet properly. Judge: You run the complaints department? Truman: We call it the helpdesk. Judge: I see. Perhaps we should move on. What is your charge against Mr Buckley? Truman: He invaded a support group and offended people with his swearing. Judge: The occasional "M'lud" would stop me being offended too, Mr Truman. Truman: M'lud. Judge: What kind of support group is this? Some sort of self-help for Internet addicts? Truman: Oh no! We try to get people onto it. Judge: Pardon? Truman: M'lud. Judge: You try to get people addicted to the Internet? Why would that be, Mr Truman? Truman: No, er, M'lud, we try to get them *connected* to the Internet. Judge: I thought you just picked up an AOL disk. Truman: Yes, that's one way. Judge: And you help them do whatever they have to do with the AOL disk? Truman: No, we're BTInternet, not AOL. We do have a disk but it's different. Judge: "M'lud". I see. So where does Mr Buckley come into this? Has he got one of your disks? Truman: No, M'lud. Judge: Is this correct, Mr Buckley? Buckley: Yes, yer daft old ****, I don't give a **** about BTi, I don't use their **** stuff at all. Judge: Ah, kids! You sound just like my granddaughter. Remember to call me "M'lud", though. Buckley: Ok, M'-*******-lud!!! Judge: That's better. Now be quiet for a moment, Christopher. Mr Truman, if Mr Buckley doesn't use your, er, disk, what have you got to do with him in this self-help group of yours? Truman: It's NOT a self-help group! It's a discussion group where people discuss why our, er, disk doesn't work. Judge: Riveting stuff, full of human interest I should imagine. Your disk doesn't work and Mr Buckley doesn't use it. Why do any people go to the meetings? Truman: They're not meetings, it's just messages on computers. .... um M'lud. Judge: And you preside over this medium? Truman: Not really. I manage it. Judge: Mr Truman... Truman: M'lud !! Judge: Am I to understand that Mr Buckley places messages on people's computers that they find offensive? Truman: Yes, M'lud, that's exactly it! Judge: Why would people want to see such messages? Truman: They can't help it... Judge: Net addicts? Truman: No! M'lud. Judge: Problems with your disk, perhaps? Truman: Not really, M'lud. Buckley has no right to send them. Judge: I suggest you leave matters of the law to me. I ask you again: why do people have to see Mr Buckley's messages? Truman: He uses another company's er... disk ... to send them and then our customers have to see them, M'lud. Judge: Because of the defects in your disk? Truman: NO!!! M'lud. Because of the defects in our computers. Judge: Which you manage? Truman: No, someone else does that. Judge: Very well. In summary, you object to Mr Buckley's schoolboy language which your disk allows him to send to customers who can't get it working because your computers are faulty. And you would like me to send him to prison for this? Truman: Yes please, M'lud. Judge: Can your disk get pornography? Truman: Er, well, yes, M'lud. Judge: Give me one of these disks. Truman: That'll be ten quid plus tax, but for you M'lud, I'll waive the tax. Judge: Thank you. Case dismissed. Costs against the plaintiff. Now, how do I use this pornography disk of yours?
Amazingly, BT did attempt to prosecute Chris Buckley. The details were reported in The Register here, here, here and here.
However, the case did not come to court, having "trundled on" making
Chris's life a misery for a couple of years and alienating a goodly number of
previously loyal BTinternetters in the process.