Teen jailed over Facebook comment.

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Whenever posting something so public there is always the risk of attracting both positive and negative attention.

This year alone there have been a number of high profile abusive and illegal cases involving the use of social media, some cases resulting in jail time. This has led to pressure mounting on social networks and the relevant authorities to take necessary action against those involved.

I came across this story involving a teenager being jailed for making some disturbing comments during a backward and forward exchange of words with a friend on Facebook about an online video game. The teens dad said his son followed up the message with ‘LOL’ and ‘J/K’ (joking). Despite this the offending message was reported and resulted in the teen been arrested.

Naturally with crimes where the perpetrators have persistently posted worrying messages before committing their acts of crime have not always been taken seriously. After the crime has been committed an investigation produces further evidence corroborating the disturbing online posts. It would appear this is not the case with this teen.

I’m not saying that taking some kind of action against the teen was not the correct thing to do. My concern is how in depth was the investigation conducted and was jailing the teen with an obscene bail which cannot be paid, the correct way to handle the situation?

What was the full context of the conversation? From a thorough investigation was the teen found to be harbouring some nefarious tendencies and interests that made him a threat to the public? At the moment it appears this could be a case of an overzealous police force who have incarcerated this teen solely based on this one comment with no additional evidence.

The communication that took place between this teen and his friend is not uncommon. It is almost considered a norm in the world of online gaming for the so called ‘banter’ to get a bit heated. As mentioned in one of my previous posts some of the insults can be abusive and threatening, type of insults that would (hopefully) not be exchanged were the two players to ever meet in the physical world.

It is welcoming that the authorities are sitting up and taking note of some of the more offensive and threatening comments being made in the virtual world, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for common sense.

I say this often to friends and family, be careful with what you post online. They may think I’m being paranoid but what is harmless joking between yourself and your online community may not be seen the same way by others. Be selective with the information you share as once it is out there, no matter how many times you press that delete button you can’t take it back.

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4 thoughts on “Teen jailed over Facebook comment.

  1. Interesting news and a good post. This comment made by the teenager is nothing more than a spare of the moment thing – often happens. Take sport games for example – how many times on National news do we see arguments getting heated up in front of everyone, where players often are subjected to racist abuse by supporters and spectators.

    In America, it’s understandable that tensions are high, especially since so many children have been shot in school in recent years. The debate over gun control and law is ongoing and making comments such as this can land you in deep trouble – as is the case here.

    Like

    • Thank you 🙂

      I agree, in the heat of the moment the teenager made a comment that in the past might not have been taken so seriously. Because of the recent acts of violence in America involving children his comments have sent alarm bells ringing.
      On the other side of the coin the teen should not have made the comments that he did, but as there appears to be a lack of evidence I don’t think he should have been jailed or his bail been set so high.

      You’re right about tensions running high in America. I think it’s led to a fear culture, in this case it is almost like the legal authorities are using jail as a preventative tool should this teen go on to commit some kind of crime in the future even if the teen is actually harmless.

      Like

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