A teenager in Texas faces eight years in jail for a so-called "sarcastic" comment he wrote on Facebook. Justin Carter, 18, was having what he thought was an innocuous conversation online with his friends about a video game when an outsider saw the comments, intervened, and called the cops. Justin's been in jail since March, and his dad's on a mission to get him out.
Jack Carter explains his son's comments as such:
Someone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane, you're crazy, you're messed up in the head,’ to which [Justin] replied 'Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk.
A woman in Canada somehow saw Justin's comment, Googled his address, noticed he lived near an elementary school, and called the police. Justin was arrested for making terroristic threats and has been behind bars for the last three months. A search of his home in Austin, Texas uncovered no weapons.
Dad Jack started a petition to raise awareness of Justin's predicament and wants to help people realize that "social media is not a playground." The Carter family has learned the hard way that anything you say on Facebook can and will be used against you -- Jack wants to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.
As parents, it's our job to talk to our kids about the dangers of social media and really drive home the point that what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. A flippant, insensitive comment about violence isn't easily erased and could possibly land you in jail.
A "funny" Facebook comment now could turn into a living nightmare later.
Do you think this is fair?
Photo via danhodgett/Flickr