Twitter has a great amount of influence on how today’s teenagers express themselves, and the ugly thing that can come from it is the way it can lead them to trouble. A tweet sent out by Alyssa Douglas, a high-school student from Clarksville, Ohio, on Thursday night before President Barack Obama’s NDC speech said:
“Someone needs to assassinate Obama … like ASAP.”
The short tweet quickly got Douglas in trouble. The Clinton-Massie School District officials had a meeting with Douglas and her parents the very next day. The Secret Service took the threat seriously, as the agency investigates all sorts of threats, including social media and short message threats. Mark Porter, special agent in charge at the Cincinnati field office, said that social media threats are investigated regularly every couple of months.
Teenagers may not realize that posting death threats like the one Douglas posted can have dire legal consequences after being passed on to the Secret Service’s Intelligence Division. For your information, threats against the President are illegal under a specific federal statute and are punishable by a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.
So what will be the outcome of the Douglas case? We’ll just have to wait and see.