updated 11/14/2010 10:57:59 PM ET 2010-11-15T03:57:59

Thousands of annoyed Internet users are tweeting threats to a British airport in support of a man who was arrested and fined for threatening to blow it "sky high" if his flight was delayed.

Paul Chambers was found guilty of violating Britain's communication law when he vented his anger in an ill-tempered tweet over the temporary closure of Robin Hood Airport in northern England earlier this year. His defenders say the case is an assault on free speech.

His appeal was turned down Thursday.

Thousands of Twitter users have repeated Chambers' original message in defiance of the ruling or tweeted comic threats. Rights groups warn that the so-called "Twitter Joke Trial" sets a poor precedent for freedom of speech. Some say it effectively bans exaggeration.

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