British police arrest man over offensive Captain Moore tweet, giving it a vast international audience

"@2helpmehelpyou" had no Twitter following to speak of when he tweeted something nasty about Captain Tom Moore, the hero centegenarian who recently died of Covid after raising millions to fight the disease. But police in the UK soon arrested him for the offensive remark and boasted about it to the press, so now millions of people worldwide have read the illegal words "The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella, buuuuurn."

The case is a sharp example of the Streisand Effect, where censorship only draws more attention to the problematic material at hand. But it's also an example of another phenomenon, where vanishingly obscure material—and laws that oblige police to police it—can be intentionally exploited to justify attention given to a subject. In this case, the bad tweet is now a prop in fights over Scottish independence [Twitter], free speech [Daily Mail], nationalist appropriation of Moore [The Guardian], and every conceivable subject upon which it touches.