P&Ns middle name is and

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Jul 17, 2003


Diamond Member
Dec 17, 2004
Under the 1st amendment, can a fart be considered 'freedom of expression'?

Apparently it is in Austria (to some degree). :D

The main story concerns a man in the UK who got got 34 months for shoplifting and who also farted in the arresting cops face. But the side story is the more interesting one...

Now, you might think this is a pretty unique crime, but a couple of years back a bloke in Austria was fined €500 (£425) for loudly farting near police officers, before having his fine reduced to €100 (£85) after he launched an appeal.

The unidentified man was whacked with a fine in Vienna after 'offending public decency' by 'farting provocatively' at police in June 2020.

However, he subsequently challenged the fine, in what must have been a very strange day in court for all concerned.

The man told the courts that breaking wind was merely a 'biological process'. He added that even if he had done it deliberately, his fart was covered by freedom of expression, thelocal.at reports.

In Austria, freedom of expression is not limited to just speech, but also covers noises and communication in other forms.

But the sound must have 'communicative intent', which this bloke's fart didn't, according to the court.

Nonetheless, the court decided to reduce the fine by €400, taking into account his lack of criminal record.

The judge said that although breaking wind is technically a form of communication it was a 'form of expression that transcends the boundaries of decency'. The man's actions were also branded 'ridiculous', which is fair enough.

But the judge concluded he only had 'average culpability' for the offence.

At the time of the offence, the police force posted on Twitter to reassure people that 'no one is reported for accidentally letting one go once'.

They went on to say the man had acted 'provocatively and uncooperatively' during the incident, which took place on a park bench.

The force claimed the man stood up, looked directly at the officers and 'let go a massive intestinal wind apparently with full intent' after he was asked to confirm his identity.

The police added: "Our colleagues don't like to be farted at so much."