Facebook threat equals jail redux: British man sentenced to 2 years-plus

Authorities are taking a hard line against social-media threats in the United States and elsewhere. Last week, we wrote about a Texas teen jailed over a Facebook comment that included a supposedly sarcastic comment about killing kindergartners. This week, a British man was handed a sentence of two years and four months over his Facebook threats to kill U.S. schoolchildren.

The comments, which Reece Elliott, 24, posted not too long after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn., prompted officials to keep 3,000 Tennessee students from school, according to the Guardian. “I’m killing 200 people minimum at school. I will be on CNN,” Elliott reportedly posted on a Facebook tribute page for a Tennessee teen killed in a car accident. He was arrested after the FBI — which mines social media for such threats — contacted British police.

Other Brits have been in hot water over social-media posts — but in a different context. Last year, the High Court in London overturned the conviction of a British man who tweeted in 2010 that he would blow up an airport after a flight delay. As we wrote then, Paul Chambers became an Internet free speech cause celebre, with comedians and others coming to his defense.

 

Photo from Reuters

 

 

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