Facebook and the Law
Facebook probably gets more people into trouble than all other forms of social media combined.
Recently a Melbourne man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for a Facebook Post threatening to kill President Obama. This is not the first time someone was nabbed for a spur of the moment bit of foolishness on the web. A year ago Marine Corps Vet Brandon Raub was grabbed off the streets by the feds working with local police because he posted a “disturbing song lyric” on his Facebook page and put into a psychiatric ward until the good people at the Rutherford Institute had him released on civil rights violations. In February Justin Carter, a Texas teen, was locked up for what was tantamount to smack talking on his Facebook page about a Call of Duty game he had played previously. Most recently in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial (yes, more George Zimmerman) a New York man was arrested for making vague threats against police officers and neighborhood watch members.
While I realize that real threats have to be addressed quickly, I can’t help but think we’re heading down the slippery slope of the Soviet Union where you have to watch every word else be dragged off to the gulags.
What you must understand, and I cannot reiterate this enough as a Florida criminal lawyer is that we live in a different age. It is one thing to mouth off to friends and family and quite another to post it on Facebook.
Right or wrong, that is the law. You make a threat over the Internet and chances are the Feds could be knocking on your door later. So watch your posts and should the worst happen you can always reach out to me.
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