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Social Media Posts -- Can Your Posts Land You in Jail?

Today one of the first things we do in the morning is jump on our Social media avenues, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and so on. This is where we check the weather, daily news, and what our friends are doing. Some even enjoy trolling through other user’s pages as entertainment. Some people enjoy posting their everyday routines and others thrive on how many comments, likes, and views their social media posting has obtained. Some people determine what the content of their posting will be based on what will get the strongest reaction or even cause the most controversy. If you are one of the social media users who enjoy the strong reaction and controversy of your postings, you could get arrested.
            In the month of October there were at least two different social media postings, either for a reaction, controversy, or just views and likes, that ended up with an arrest. Two students at Kaufman High School were arrested for their use of social media. In Addition, a man from Oklahoma City was also arrested for alleged comments viewed by a trolling visitor to his page.
            The Students from Kaufman High School, one listed as a male student and the other as a Juvenile student, were arrested regarding the use of their social media outlet. Early in October 2017, the male student had allegedly was using a gun simulation application on his cell phone during class and making threats to kill students. The juvenile student allegedly had made a comment on his or her social media outlet, Snapchat, that read “Sorry for the school shooting that’s possibly happening tomorrow…)”. As cynical as the student’s actions were, it is to be determined what their actual intent was at that time. Subsequently, both students were arrested. The male student was arrested for terroristic threat, a third-degree felony and the juvenile student was arrested on charges for false alarm or report involving public school, a state jail felony. There is not any information on what the students’ actual intent was by using their social media outlets in this way.
            Another, arrest resulting from the use of a social media outlet was Roderick Lamar Robinson of Oklahoma City. Roderick was arrested on October 3, 2017 for allegedly posting on his social media outlet, Facebook. His alleged posting was threatening shootings in Oklahoma and San Antonio like the one that recently happened in Las Vegas. Like the two students, Roderick’s posting was brought to the authorities by a person viewing his Facebook page. Roderick was arrested on a terroristic hoax warrant.
            When you jump on your social media outlet in the morning, late at night, or throughout the day be it Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or any other outlet, you may want to be cautious of what you are posting. What you say in passing, or in jest may be deemed as an arrestable offense. Just like the cases of the two students from Kaufman High and Roderick Robinson of Oklahoma.  If you find yourself in need of representation following a social media misunderstanding, contact our office today.