A SCOTTISH MAN has been arrested and subsequently charged after posting an 'offensive' tweet about the late Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The 35-year-old, from Lanarkshire, now faces up to six months in prison or a fine of up to than £5,000 (€5,690).
The tweet, which was later deleted, read: "The only good brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella, buuuurrn."
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "On Friday 5 February 2021, we received a report of an offensive tweet about Captain Sir Tom Moore who died on Tuesday 2 February.
"A 35-year-old man has subsequently been arrested and charged in connection with communication offences and is due to appear at Lanark Sheriff Court on Wednesday 17 February."
Captain Tom died in Bedford Hospital last Tuesday morning, having been initially admitted for pneumonia and later testing positive for coronavirus.
The 100-year-old had captured the hearts of a nation with his fundraising efforts during the first coronavirus lockdown, raising more than £30m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden.
While the tweet about him was undeniably tasteless, many are up in arms about the notion of someone being arrested over an 'offensive' tweet.
"Totalitarian stuff. The tweet was disgusting, but it should not be considered an offence," wrote one social media user.
That was seriously all it said? I've had people say worse things to my face and way worse on the internet. Sure, ban his account but to be arrested for this is pretty pathetic.
— Azderiel (@Azderiel) February 8, 2021
"That was seriously all [the tweet] said? I've had people say worse things to my face and way worse on the internet. Sure, ban his account but to be arrested for this is pretty pathetic," wrote another.
In 2018, Lanarkshire police were caught up in a similarly divisive issue.
A man was convicted of committing a 'hate crime' after he posted videos on YouTube of his dog giving Nazi salutes.
His trial was placed under a microscope when public figures, such as comedian Ricky Gervais, questioned if the Communications Act undermined people's right to freedom of speech.
The Communications Act 2003, states a person is guilty of an offence if he or she sends "by means of a public electronic communication network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character".