Don’t take your rage to Facebook 
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Zoe Hawkins
July 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Justin Carter has been in jail since 27 March 2013 because of sarcastic comments made while discussing League of Legends.  It’s one thing to rage quit, but due to making those comments on Facebook, this kid could end up with an eight year prison sentence.

Back in February, Carter and a friend were arguing with someone on Facebook about LoL, leading to some stupid comments.  As his father explained to the local news:

“Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’ to which he 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.,” 

I wonder if the debate was about which champion was better, or maybe the insanity of his build order.  In any event, a Canadian woman (blame Canada) saw the posting and googled Carter, seeing his old address was near an elementary school, so she called the police.  The next month, Justin Carter was in jail, charged with making a terrorist threat.

It doesn’t help that Carter made the threats just a couple months after the school massacre at Sandy Hook in Connecticut.  However, his father explains:

“Justin was the kind of kid who didn’t read the newspaper. He didn’t watch television. He wasn’t aware of current events. These kids, they don’t realize what they’re doing. They don’t understand the implications. They don’t understand public space,”

There’s a petition, if you care to sign, requesting the release of Justin Carter and change to the investigative criteria for terrorist threats.  I must say, the kid was pretty stupid to say that sort of thing on Facebook.  However, considering the amount of inane prattle I see on Facebook and twitter every day, most people would be arrested if these kinds of investigative techniques were used universally.  I suppose the moral of the story is, don’t rage on Facebook?  Or maybe don’t fight about League of Legends, just play the game!

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!
  • LordCaptainAwesomeness

    I don’t know whether to laugh or be disturbed by the news.

    But hell i am sure glad we stay in good ol ZA. and that Darren has a sense of humour….

    • RinceWind

      Darryn has a sense of humor? 0-O

      • LordCaptainAwesomeness

        That, or his is just one thick skinned Lizard Man….

        • RinceWind

          Hahah! I think you are closer here ;)

  • RinceWind

    Watched this on Sat with OVG and we were like, wtf? This is retarded!

  • Hammersteyn

    Signed it. Poor boy, I guess you can say…. he is in Prism.

    • Captain Minion TallTwit

      Here, you forgot this…

    • LordCaptainAwesomeness

      you forgot this….

      • Captain Minion TallTwit

        Haha, snap!

        • RinceWind

          Hahha! @LordCaptainAwesomeness:disqus You both just did a Double Horashio, never go full Horashio!

          • Captain Minion TallTwit

            I am just wondering why he wants to put on a 2nd pair of glasses.

          • HvR

            to utter a 2nd one liner of course.

          • Ultimo_Cleric N7

            Horatioception!
            You all win at life

          • LordCaptainAwesomeness

            Horatio is so nice, we did it twice….

            damn that is lame…Brain not working …

          • RinceWind

            I was about to downvote you! That is BAD and you should feel BAD! trololo

          • LordCaptainAwesomeness

            Damn someone had a pic up this morning of a massive cup of coffee…. think i need that ..

          • RinceWind

            Yeah, @thattalltwit:disqus big cup o coffee! STAT!

          • Captain Minion TallTwit

            Yessir! Coming right up.

          • Captain Minion TallTwit

            Special order for @LordCaptainAwesomeness:disqus !!!!

          • LordCaptainAwesomeness

            Awww Yeah….@Captain Minion TallTwit

            You know the first five days of the weekend are the hardest..

          • Captain Minion TallTwit

            Damn right, thank goodness for coffee!

      • Hammersteyn

        LOL, yeah I already cluttered the comments section once already with a pic. I do hope the petition works.

      • Matthew Holliday

        We must go deeper

  • Captain Minion TallTwit

    All I can say is, what i freaking stupid thing to write!

    Ja nee <—-

    • Hammersteyn

      It happens a lot, people type a fast witty reply and post it before thinking clearly about it. He also said the last two lines is a joke. I just can’t believe how long he has been in prison. Doesn’t he get bail or something?

      • Daniel Keevy

        I was wondering about that. From the sounds of it, he hasn’t even gone to court yet?

      • RinceWind

        I think with Terror RISM things are a bit different. I think they can hold you indefinitely. And let’s be honest, this kid sounds like he may run some training cell…

        • Captain Minion TallTwit

          Should of run to the nearest embassy. *Jokes*

          • RinceWind

            Careful man! Jokes like that can end you up in Merica prison!

          • Daniel Keevy

            The problem is that America has had one of the worst school shootings ever, and the dude stayed close to a school.

            Some things just aren’t publishable.

          • Captain Minion TallTwit

            It is OHkay. I act like I am from MexEKO…

        • Daniel Keevy

          I checked, his trial starts in July.

          • RinceWind

            That is whack. Judge: “Did you post something stupid online?” Kid: “Yes” Judge:”8 years will teach you not to act like a kid and do stupid shit…”

          • Daniel Keevy

            I don’t know what law he’s charged under, but they’d probably evaluate the danger he posed, and the threat he made weighed against whether it was credible. Similar to the case they’d make if you acted the fool in an airport.

            I don’t think the kid would face jail time for this, and it is an overreaction, but at the end of the day, you’d want to be overwhelming when it comes to the safety of kids.

          • RinceWind

            Agreed. But he is already in jail isn’t he? I mean, he may not get 8 years, but that is a pretty hectic thing to have to be exposed to, even if only for a month or so.

          • Daniel Keevy

            That it is. I think it’s really heavy handed, but I can also understand why.

          • RinceWind

            Well, if the kid wasn’t a lunatic before he was sent in, he may very well be one when they let him out 0-O

          • Daniel Keevy

            Let’s hope not. People sometimes forget that there are no secrets online. And once you say something, it’s there FOREVER! *que ominous music*

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Dumb thing to write, but surely it’s illegal to not investigate and trial first? There’s no evidence that he was going to do anything.

    But I do think people should be cautious over what they write on a public forum of any kind.

    • HvR

      Terrorism charges is special class of federal charge on the same level of espionage, can be held in detention indefinitely without legal representation, no diplomatic immunity or access to your embassy if you are no american. And you can be shipped off to Guantanamo Bay and be made to eat a cock meat sandwich.

  • BeatzByChrisBrown

    Can’t help but think the justice system has failed in this instance. It’s clearly not a serious threat.

  • Argentil

    You know, as ludicrous as it is, he deserves it. Everyone should face consequences for what they write. If you made that threat in person to a bunch of strangers, you would face similar treatment.

    • Hammersteyn

      But clearly he meant it as a joke. That and look how long he’s been in jail. I would agree but he said jk and lol.

      • Argentil

        I know, and I’m not saying he should be in jail. If anything I find fault in the offence, not the forum through which he committed the offence. If anything, he should have gotten a slap on the wrist, or community service without being detained.

    • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      I strongly disagree with that. 8 years for that? really? …. yet rapists and murderers are roaming freely…he get’s arrested for a sarcastic statement. then majority of the people that comment here should all be worrying that they don’t drop the soap.

      He should be kept responsible for saying such crap …. but 8 years is too harsh

      • RinceWind

        Agreed. And he even included comments to show he was messing about. I mean shit. If a 6 year old posts something like that, are we going to throw him/her in jail?

        • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

          Exactly , Half of the Xbox Live community should be arrested then. and there are people that are condoning this…..any normal person reading what he said will never interpret it as a terroristic threat

          • RinceWind

            Totally. We’ve all been responsible for bad mouthing at some stage on the internet. You can’t arrest someone for saying stupid stuff when you are a child.

          • Argentil

            I’ve never lost it and raged at someone online. I’ve never said any of the things that come out of the mouths of babes on XBL. Those kids wouldn’t be speaking that way if they were going to be reported for it. I think the new console gen should have a record and report feature built-in for this purpose. Continuous offences should lead to suspensions, followed by bans.

          • RinceWind

            Totally agree. I think if these checks were in place this sort of thing would be unheard of. It’s the faceless internet that allows courage to these little bugger.

          • CaptainNemo42

            Only half?

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            98% ? lol

      • Argentil

        Of course, the sentence itself is BS. A slap on the wrist is all that’s required. I do take cyber bullying and threats seriously, myself, but I would never give someone jail time for it. At best I would allow a search warrant to investigate if the culprit is a threat.

        • RinceWind

          Agreed. Cyber bullying is something I take seriously, but I haven’t read anywhere that this kid was persistently attacking someone in a way that appeared real.

        • Daniel Keevy

          The issue lies in, that had he attacked a school, and the media found this post, there’d be hell to pay.

          Remember, neither the Aurora shooter nor the Sandy Hook shooter seemed like credible threats until the damage was done.

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            True, that does give rise to concern when posting such a comment but to be immediately prosecuted like is utter rubbish….

        • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

          No definitely hey. though I can’t even see this as a threat, I would take a full frontal threat more seriously than this such as if they directly said I’m going to kill you etc…but I do agree cyber bullying does warrant at most an investigation

          • Daniel Keevy

            The thing is that the person who reported him thought it was credible. It wasn’t the US that just detained him. He was reported by someone else.

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            Wow is that the law? they can arrested and given jail time like that?

          • Daniel Keevy

            I think he’s been detained pending a trial. But if they have reasonable grounds, they could arrest you.

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            And a facebook comment is reasonable grounds …. that’s messed up hey

          • Daniel Keevy

            Not really. What’s the difference between reading comments off Facebook or eavesdropping on a conversation at a coffee shop?

            Both are public forums.

          • Zoe

            agreed. and with everyone so afraid of terrorism, they think they have to lock people up just in case they do go out and act on these comments. As much as he might have been sarcastic and joking, often people will put “jk” or “lol” at the end of a comment even when they aren’t kidding. lol ;)

          • LordCaptainAwesomeness

            People think you can say whatever the hell you want if you end the sentence with “Lol” or”jk”, No no no no no and No…

            You as an individual need to be held accountable for your words and actions…

            But but they are just words right? Maybe… BUT if he did go and harm anyone?

            On the other hand, he did not, however, where is the decency? Tuff if he is a kid, yes, he deserves some kind of punishment, and maybe the 8 years is a bit much…

            on the other hand, in ZA if you phone in a bomb scare, it is mandatory jail time. Even if you end it with Lol…..

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            Jee whizz …… I can understand the reason for concern but I can’t condone 8 years … I really really can’t ……

          • Daniel Keevy

            The 8 years is only possible after trial. Which is starting soon. It’s really heavy handed, but that’s the world we live in. Threats of this nature have to be seriously considered. Because you never know.

      • CaptainNemo42

        Agreed. A slap on the wrist. Sessions with a therapist and 1 000 hours community service.

        And make it widely public, so people realise they should be a bit more careful with their words.

    • RinceWind

      Nah man. I did stupid shit as a kid and I most certainly didn’t ever deserve an 8 year prison sentence.

    • Zoe

      well, not sure about similar treatment. he probably would have ‘just’ been beaten up. but at least then he’d know to be careful what he said in public.

      • Argentil

        Well, in that example, depending on who you say it to, you could end up dead Oo

        • Zoe

          very true! that said, for the most part we see who is listening in public places (and adjust behavior accordingly). online, apparently EVERYONE is listening.

  • Daniel Keevy

    I feel bad for him, but there are certain things you just don’t publish. It’s like people who make bomb jokes on a plane.

    Free expression is all fine and well, but there’s a line when it comes to violence or the threat thereof. Even if it wasn’t serious.

    • Argentil

      I agree. I do think that arresting someone for making a threat, without finding evidence that someone would have the means, or the inclination to act on it, is a bit daft.

      • Daniel Keevy

        Yeah. I don’t think this warrants jail time either. But you don’t threaten a school or school kids.

        This does go to the fact that online games need to start policing in game comments though. People say stupid shit while playing, and think it’s cool to say it everywhere else.

  • Sageville

    Yeah, the key here is; “..in America”.

    Anyone remember the Patriot Act…. this is it in action.

    Basically it was ok to target the local Arab people, but god forbid they turn the microscope on your average whitey and now there is a “Free Justin” movement.

    It’s what the American people asked for, let them enjoy the consequences.

    • RinceWind

      Merica!

      • LordCaptainAwesomeness

        makes me think of this…

        still one of the best theme songs ever

        • RinceWind

          Mat Damon! Mat Damon! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

          • Kromas

            I guess Pearl Harbor sucked

            Just a little bit more than I loved that movie.

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    Wow. This is really taking the paranoia of the USA to the next level. Now I KNOW few Americans are this bad. But the government is going a bit too far here.
    HOWEVER……it would be nice if everyone who was a knob on FB could get locked up. COuld we please start with all the Farmville people, then move on to the relationship moaners.
    Thanks :-)

  • Mathias

    I got banned for 12 hours for commenting on a IGN article that americans were idiots… So, yeah, they are watching D:

    • Captain Minion TallTwit

      Give that man a bells.

    • HvR

      Yo dog you cant go an’ talk all sense an sheet on no eyeGN.

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    Please Sign the petition, bloody hell, sure it’s a douche comment but 8 freaking years….come on people, that is just beyond logical and very inhuman

    • Captain Minion TallTwit

      Signed it, I did.

  • Trevor Davies

    I have mixed feelings about this. I think people should be free to say whatever they want, whether other people like it or not, with the exception of incitement to violence – physical or otherwise, and whether it’s deliberate or accidental. I don’t like the idea of thought crimes & people shouldn’t be legally prosecuted for saying something someone considers distasteful. People can say stupid things for any number of reasons & a momentary lapse in judgement shouldn’t ruin someone’s life. The intent behind someone’s words also matter.

    BUT

    Free speech comes with responsibility. You are responsible for ensuring what you say in a public forum isn’t taken as a call to negative action, like threatening to shoot up a school or blowing up a plane. As society we set limits to what is deemed acceptable in a public space & if you exceed those limits then you’re in trouble. There are lines that we agree should not be crossed, however some people draw those lines differently.

    As far as we know now, this kid just said something stupid in a place he shouldn’t have, and rightfully it got checked on. However threatening to throw him in jail for terrorism after finding out he was just mouthing off stupidly & had no intent to do anything should have a chilling effect on everyone. I don’t see much difference between this & the local guy who got arrested for giving the president’s convoy the finger.

    I’ll defend other peoples rights to say or think what they like even if I don’t agree, because if someone says something I don’t agree with, I can always say something back. I hate the idea that you can be legally prohibited from saying something because someone deems it offensive. To quote Stephen Fry on people complaining about being offended, “Well so fucking what?”

    We draw lines that we feel shouldn’t be crossed when saying things, but different people draw those lines differently – and we should accept that.

  • ElimiNathan

    That woman who reported him sounded like she was full of c***. Who the hell does that

  • CaptainNemo42

    Those wacky Canadians hey.

  • brad coetzee

    dont give your contact details to google or facebook. make it a bit harder for people to track you down and lock you away for bullshit.

  • Slade Boender

    Problems: 1) He’s arguing on the internet, worst of all FB 2) HE’s arguing on the internet/FB about LoL. Nah, screw him. As jy wil dof wees, laat jy maar leer.