Too many are people getting into trouble on the internet these days for otherwise harmless Twitter jokes that The Man has decided is not a joke at all.
some of the stuff that gets the Plod involved is genuinely nasty and
the authors of such filth deserve all they get, what about the innocent
jokers who see their gag about - say - blowing an airport sky-high, or
shooting Simon Cowell repeatedly in the face with large calibre weaponry
land them in court?
the internet needs is some sort of "This is a joke" punctuation mark
that shows that the author is having a laugh and does not intend to
shoot repeatedly in the face with large calibre weaponry.
some Ethiopian languages, there is a "sarcasm mark", which looks like
an inverted exclamation mark which denotes when the writer is taking the
rise. Certainly, the same concept could be applied to the 140-character
world of Twitter, using an underused, readily-available keyboard
character. Like ~ or ^ or |.
already had a go, devising the 'SarcMark' which has the enormous
disadvantage of having to be installed on any computer that wants to use
it. Basically, every computer in the whole world. Also, it appears to
be a registered trade mark, which just wants me to be sarcastic. It's
got to be ~ or ^ or | or nothing at all.
Of course, we already have smileys, but they're for planks, and anybody who suggests :) will see their house bombed back to the stone age and their dog worn as a scarf [twitter approved this is a joke mark goes here].
Sarcasm marks - the way ahead.