Facebook Terrorism and the Growing Public Space

Nineteen-year-old Justin Carter is in prison with a $500,000 bail awaiting trial for a third-degree felony charge of terroristic threats. For a facebook status update. Following a particularly heated session of online gaming, the young Carter thought it a good idea to post the following comment to his wall:

“I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten / And watch the blood of the innocent rain down/ And eat the beating heart of one of them.”

Poor taste? Yes. Idiotic? Of course. Mentally deranged? Certainly. A legitimate “terrorist” threat? Probably not. I think the “eat the beating heart” bit should have been enough to tip authorities off that this was not a real threat, but rather the bitter ramblings of a social malcontent. But what were authorities to do? In the wake of Sandy Hook and Boston, the civil government feels they need to take any comment like this seriously.

And don’t get me wrong. The kid obviously needs some help. A lot of help. But, according to his father (who has not heretofore done a terribly great job in his role if this is any indication), Carter is getting the crap beaten out of him in prison. And there’s no way to get him out before the trial because, like most of us, Carter’s father doesn’t have $500,000 laying around.

Whether it was an ill-advised comeback, an incriminating photo, or just an inordinate amount of wasted time, most of us have something to regret about our dealings with facebook. But the Carter case brings up some very sticky legal issues. Is facebook a “public space”? Should the things we post to facebook be allowed to have legal import? Is the internet a “public space” for legal purposes?

Speaking of public spaces, we all know that we shouldn’t even joke about bombs at an airport. It’s just stupid. Once when I was an even less mature young man, I flew to Chicago with my father. I saw a sign stating what (to me) was rather obvious—that guns, explosives, etc. were not allowed on the airplane. I joked with my Dad that, “Oh, I guess I should probably leave my bombs here then.” I have never received a more stern look of disapproval from my dad. I had meant it as a joke. I’m glad my father, seasoned traveler and wise human that he is, was there to shut me up before I got myself arrested.

Facebook seems like a different venue than the airport though. It seems so casual and relatively anonymous. Should any leeway be given for youthful immaturity, drunken posting, or just plain stupidity? I don’t know.

One thing’s for sure though. With the rise of more intrusive means of government surveillance, even what you say in texts and in phone conversations could be used against you. The world is changing. What would have been dealt with by a stern look fifteen years ago could get you a stiff sentence now. Because the public space has reached beyond your door step.

This is one of the dangers (and benefits) of the explosion of the internet. It is very convenient to be able to buy something from a vendor in another country while sitting comfortably in your living room. But, thanks to the internet, you can also be at home (a seemingly “private space”) making public terrorist threats. The public space has invaded the private, and with the public space comes the jurisdiction of the civil government.

We are living among the first generation of people who will have grown up with facebook. Most of their lives will be documented by status updates, photos, and comments. They will have their follies and immaturities emblazoned on the face of the internet for posterity. I pity them. Fathers, teach your children to be prudent. And encourage them to disconnect from the world wide web and connect with the world wide world. You might save them from a world of pain and regret.

61 responses

  1. I was taught in computer science NEVER to go on a social site.  Facebook’s designer is an Obdama cya lover and profiles apparently are routinely given over to this administration.  Due to tyranny in this administration, freedom of speech is going the way of all our freedoms under this regime.

    • Indeed, this is just one more reason that we should all stop, cease and desist from using
      any form of social media.  We quit Facebook three years ago, mainly because of the vulgarity
      and profanity, not to mention that it is a total waste of time and effort.

  2. I once read that Facebook and other social media invites the immature, irrational and drama queens/kings to have their moments in the electronic sun and at age 37 be allowed to change their name and SS# so they could live the rest of their life free of the electrontic shadow of their youthful stupidity.

  3. Sad, too, is that Civics/Constitutional studies isn’t being taught well/correctly in our schools of lower and higher learning. There are several “rights” not protected under the 1st Amendment’s protection of “free speech.” Knowledge of these are important.

    • JHB –you mean the 1st Amendment does not cover online threats against Zimmerman, pro-abortionist threats against lawmakers, publishing the address of Zimmerman’s parents, calling for riots, posts calling for lynching?

  4. for whatever reason there is one thing the author of this article did not mention about this kids quote, which the author took out of content. after the kid said this he wrote, only kidding. certainly the kid shouldn’t be joking about this but he’s no terrorist, he’s not a threat to anyone and he never should have been arrested . this best thing would have been to talk to the kid, explain the implications of his statements, and tell him not to do it again. that would have solved the problem.

    when he said he was going to eat the heart maybe he saw the muslim who killed a guy and ate the guys heart and was using some satire, which in today’s politically correct atmosphere using satire can put you in jail. should the kid have said this-no. did the kid commit a crime-no. is this the despicable prosecution from an overly politically correct zealous prosecutor-yes.

    • jamgus24 I can’t help but think that this kid would have been treated differently if he was Muslim/arabic rather than white (probably Christian). Just me, but I suspect the government is in full discrimination mode.

  5. Too bad Facebook doesn’t take seriously the 3 FB pages with titles ‘George Martin Must Die.”  FB refuses to shut them down.

  6. Young folk are brain dead. It want take much to convince them there world is run by the fraud and his commie supporters.

  7. And this while there is a real video of a Egyptian or some person overseas, an  Islamist doing exactly that: he killed a Christian man, then cut open and ate some of the heart and liver. That killer and millions like him are free in the world, and a silly kid gets prison. What kind of world is this now? Surely not the God given world we started out with in America.

    • LouEllenBrown  – Totally agree! Let’s just hope that heart or liver of that poor Christian had eaten lots of PORK over his lifetime – Pork makes the mussie unclean, and then they can’t claim their beloved and lusted for virgins – ahhh what a shame! ( not) A “true” religion of any kind does not treat their fellow humans like this – they are sick and corrupt in their hearts, minds and souls and go to hell with a glory that is horrific to behold!

  8. The quote above is missing the “jk” at the end which is pretty important since it means, “just kidding”.  The fact that we would look to a kid like this as evil while supporting the Muslims in Egypt who are openly terrorizing Christians (including doing things like the kid wrote) tells us the bias the government is showing toward Muslim violence but against anyone who is simply trying to live their life… and in this case saying something really stupid in the process.

    • LetsFindOut Funny though people who are Christians was out in the streets talking about The bible and got arrested. Yet the Muslims just recently was in NY City and blocked up traffic and was on blankets praying to there false Idol God. Yet the Muslims never got arrested even though Police was at the scene. As they was blocking traffic and the cops never did nothing. Yet the Christians who was on the streets preaching all got arrested. So now you know they favor Muslims and aliens over us true blue Americans. And oh Yes. God Bless America!   Don’t like Americans or the USA. Then Leave and go back to Egypt or wherever you came from.

      • Rex1949 LetsFindOut – It is interesting that because Christians are not violent, they get arrested often. Muslims get a pass in the name of, “We don’t want to upset them”.  As if the law is based on the path of least resistance.

  9. i am happy to say,  attilla is correct, but way late in his discovery still he has caught up. . . .stay tuned. . . since the year 700, islam is not and will not deviate one word from the qur`an or sharia law, jihad is part of the qur`an appox. thirty shuras (verses) make no mistakes, the good muslims and the bad muslims follow to the letter, all those things demanded in the qur`an, the peaceful religion. . . .since around the 9th to the 8th century, the qur`an verses where modified to include the killing of the wrong relatives of the prophet mo., who believe they are the direct chain of muslim command,  shiites and sunnis,  they kill each other in and outside their mosques, just read the news every day, the religion of peace, several bodies at a time.

  10. Our so-called “leaders” and “authority figures” don’t seem to have any common sense, or a sense of humor any more.  Too many people are looking for a excuse to be “offended”.  Go on sites such as Youtube and you can see people being rude and threatening each other.  You can find people writing crazy things in a number of different social networking sites.  You just have to think and be careful of  what you post.

    • reddbehrens1  –  please see my post above re: the state of metal health care in this Country – it is pathetic! Just take a very close look at “the people of Walmart” if you don’t believe it – there is no care facilities for these people, and folks just think it’s “funny” – I don’t agree, I think it’s a disgrace and an absolute abomination of our fellow citizens that need and deserve to be treated for disease,  at the very least they deserve some humanity and love from all of us!

    • NormaLS A lady (mutual “friend” on facebook I guess) saw the post and contacted the police. Carter apparently lived near a school, and she was concerned or whatever.

      • MichaelMinkoff NormaLS 
        A Canadian cow seen his post & reported him. Apparently the justice for Trayvon site with its virulent racist rantings & even death threats were not as offensive to her.

    • NormaLS  – Normal – all of facebook is avaliable to anyone who wishes to see it – that includes police, teachers and principals and anyone else in government or in the world that knows how to do it. 
      My neighbors kid got into trouble with drugs, the police came over and showed her a file folder with more than 100 pages of her kids posts. She had no idea he was even on face book – that’s how dangerous it is!

      • RemnantoftheD NormaLS Its  funny they did not see about  the part when a Muslim was making slur remarks about the USA. Yet they did not catch that. Funny they watch the people who are real residents of this state then they do the foreigners and  Muslims as much. Another Obama Idea! Citizens here really have no rights. But aliens seems to do.

    • NormaLS THEY (the government) ARE CONSTANTLY MONITORING ALL CONVERSATIONS! RE: Eric Snowden the whistle blower that leaked the governments programs that spy on all Americans!

  11. So, they say that, it’s all legal in the name of safety? The one’s that concerns me are the one’s who are silent. Usally, the one’s who spout out their anger is, just showing his frustration with what is going on in this present administration, but instead of facebook narcing on this youngman, and invading his privacy, they should leave it up to those of his social network to help the boy out, instead of illegally going thru his private network, then arresting him. Did any of those jokers who had him arrested, ever think about taking the youngman straight to a mental health clinic, instead of jail. It might have helped the youngman instead of ruin the boy’s life while he is having his a$$ beat everyday. We have a duzzie of an administration, they get everything WRONG.

    • Talibankiller And you are exactly right – just like good ole Ben Franklin said: “If you are willing to sacrifice your safety for liberty – you deserve neither!”
      And, The reason know one knows what to do with kids and adults with mental health issues is because there are no places to take them! Thanks to Geraldo Rivera and others like him that decided (for us, without our consent) that all State Run Mental Hospitals should be shut down period – great idea right?
      This is where we find ourselves now!

  12. These are hard calls for police who can [and do] think.  We should investigate if such a posting is serious, but let it go [or to a temporary file is it must be kept] when the treat is ruled out.  
    We make too much ado about nothing!

    • Geneww1938  Now days any thing you say or do is considered a threat. Take for instance the kid who wore the shirt and had guns on it and had a saying on it. He was kicked out of school and now in jail for just wearing that shirt.  Our freedom is being taken away from us and People can’t see  it. The society of todays society are like the blind leading the blind who can’t see what is happening today in todays society in this world. If things keep going the way it is now. We will have to have passports to go anywhere in this country or in the USA where we live here. The world is going to hell in a hand basket.

      • Rex1949 Geneww1938 the kid you’re talking about wore a n.r.a. (national rifle association) shirt to school. not only was he kicked out of school he was arrested. fortunately charges were dropped against the kid recently.

        • jamgus24 Rex1949 Geneww1938  Oh OK. But still he and his family went through hell through all of the ordeal being done. They should of sued the school and the school administration  for there  actions and the teacher in general.

      • Rex1949 Geneww1938 Our lovely leos most all have an I am God complex. The more arrests they make the better they look to there bosses and the faster they are promoted. They couldnt care less if you are innocent and there reports willbe full of lies to make you look worse!!!

  13. He’s getting a course in humility. It was just words, but the choice of words he used are about as bad as it gets! You know how angry the Nation as a whole is over the murdering of children, and adults, yet still have thoughts about such demonic things….enough to say it, YOU NEED TIME IN JAIL & GETTING YOUR ASS BEAT!!!  If that doesn’t clear your head, then you’ve got a real problem!

    • freemind 
      My question is how come the blacks who openly display virulent RACISM towards pretty much every other race on the planet get away with intimidation & death threats any time something displeases them? Go read the justice for Trayvon facebook page, THAT is o.k.? If this kid were black no one would have given a $hit what he said.

      • I agree with you as I was thinking the same thing.  The blacks are saying if Zimmerman walks, the blacks need to go out and kill white people and so far haven’t seen anything done to them.

        • wedey And if that does happen like you say about what the blacks might do then. A Civil War will break out possibly I think. As everybody will be out to kill one another. I mean this could very well possibly happen. And it would be a very unfortunate event if it did too!

  14. At the demoncrap convention last year they had a woman who stood there on TV and threaten Mitt Romney by saying that if she had Mitt Romney here I would kill him or choke him to death, but they did nothing to her, why because she was a demoncrap pig like the rest of those morons.

      • The real Smart Guy PaulBrown1 What’s the matter fart guy, you don’t like it when something about you pigs comes out as truth? You are the real ignorant jerk here no body else. Go play with your computer by yourself again, no body wants to hear your rants anymore.

  15. The author asks “Should the things we post to Facebook be allowed to have legal import? Is the internet a “public space” for legal purposes?” as if that’s some difficult question to wrestle with when the answer is obvious. Yes it is ad if the author can’t think critically enough to understand that they should probably not be writing about anything that involves thoughts deeper than a thimble.

    • The real Smart Guy You’re right. It was stupid. What I should have written is, “How seriously should the stupid things we say on the internet be taken in a legal context?” I was comparing the virtual public space with a tangible public space like the airport. They may not be different, but they certainly seem different. But you’re right.  On their own, those lines certainly seem stupid.

  16. So when are the tyrants in government going to imprison muslims who openly threaten the overthrow of the Constitution, support death to America as well as to americans?

  17. I guess no one thought to report all the threats of violence, including murder, posted on facebook pages of black Trayvon supporters or the VIDEOS, narrated by the black perpetrators, of blacks savagely beating “whites”.
    I guess the muslim terrorist pages were overlooked as well.
    The law only applies to light skinned races & straights. If you are black, Hispanic or some kind of sexual deviant you are a “protected” class & can intimidate, threaten, riot, rape, rob, murder & of course enter our country ILLEGALLY with no consequences whatsoever.

    • thismustend They overlooked black & muslim pages because that would be ‘Racist’ to blame them! I’m curious, was this kid on Facebook, black or white? He talks black ( I think Ima shoot up…), but maybe he’s white trying to “act White”!

  18. It’s worth noting that it was a woman in Canada who ratted the poor kid out. Canada, (where I live), where liberty is regarded as an infectious disease.

  19. The federal government thinks they need to take any comment like this seriously but they can’t find it necessary to keep track of illegals in this country!!!  They think it is more important to spy on ALL Americans emails, phone calls, etc. but can’t find a reason to close the borders???
    However, parents need to be aware of their children’s attitudes that may need adjustments; they need to make sure that their children understand the consequences of speaking these attitudes in any public forum.  But with the intrusive, invasive government and the available listening devices, comments like these should be written down on paper for ones own personal satisfaction and then shredded.   It’s sad that this young man has had to learn about private spaces and public threats in such a drastic way.  Parents – teach your children well – big brother is watching AND listening AND reading!!!!!

  20. So what the justice system has done is turn a 19 year old “Justin Carter” into a career criminal, think of the things he will learn in jail and which gang he will join for protection. He could always convert to Islam and get a pardon from the president and join the Muslim brotherhood.

    • KeithCP  Hey! Your right on what you said. and your forgot one thing first. He has to be someone new Bitch in prison first. And he gets a blanket party when he first gets in there too. Then he may have those other options you mentioned then. LOL’S there. as he is the New fish in Prison.

  21. As long as the lame news media can cook up a story they will make it the big thing of the day.  The kid needs some talking to, I guess they made this bigger than a gun shaped pop-tart, but does it warrant more than some council?  We have a problem with kids because people aren’t up-front with them, they always give their bad behavior a name OCD, ADD, etc.  this makes sure they are blameless!  Telling your kid he is acting like a dumb-ass might not sound nice, but it gets the point across.  Get back to parenting and we will have better people.

  22. As is becoming all to frequent, the “authorities” are far more dangerous than this pathetic gamer. Society built on laws is only as good as those enforcing them. When enforcement becomes a law unto itself, we’ve evolved into a fascist police state. This kid is just another example of the efficacy of our government-run welfare and education systems. He’s the fruit of this system. But what he said was no terrorist threat; he just happened to say something really stupid on a public forum. Our taxes are being flushed down the IRS-NSA-DHS-TSA surveillance toilet with little or no results—except to arrest a gamer and charge him with terrorism. The real terrorists are being entertained in the White House by a lying Muslim fraud who supports real terrorism in the Middle East. If law enforcement is so interested in running down terrorist, why isn’t Obama in prison?

  23. Right now the only ones who can not speak freely are the dumb lazy whites. I mean a black can go on TV and scream about killing crackers and white babies, nothing said or done about it. Now if you are a muslim terrorist you can say any dam thing you want to say and obama will probably give you a better job or something of value with the taxpayers money. Remember it is open season on Jews and Christians!

  24. If you are loking for a professional job, Facebook is a very bad idea… as is a bad credit rating, felonies, etc..

    • BarackHussein You as a  individual has no room to speak about Jobs. Look at all the money you spend on vacations and use for Egyptians when you could be helping the Americans here. You need to step down as President.

      • BarackHussein  I know if you don’t like my comment you will most likely have me arrested. As I have insulted you by that comment. LOL”S Come get me. Ha, ha, ha.

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