Fla. court: Threats posted on Facebook are crimes


Let this be a warning to everyone out there that thinks ranting on your Facebook page about killing someone is private and not a threat made public… in Florida (only, not nationally), a unanimous three-judge panel made the decision that when a young posted his threats, directed to a family member and her partner on his Facebook page, it was reasonable to presume that he wished to communicate that information to all of his Facebook friends.

They continued: “Had the appellant [defendant] desired to put his thoughts into writing for his own personal contemplation, he could simply have recorded them in a private journal, diary or any other medium that is not accessible by other people. Thus, by the affirmative act of posting the threats on Facebook, even though it was on his own personal page, appellant ‘sent’ the threatening statements to all of his Facebook friends…”

This basically says that you can no longer hide behind the fake excuse that your threats were made in a personal space. You are a big boy/girl. You know darn well that when you made those statements on Facebook it would be seen by all, including (hopefully) the ones you were threatening.

You have the freedom of speech to say what you want… but when you threaten someone, even on your personal (NOT private) Facebook page, they have the freedom to press charges…

March 19, 2013
Fla. court: Threats posted on Facebook are crimes
By Rhema Thompson, pnj.com

Posting threats on a personal Facebook page can be criminally prosecuted under state law, an appeals court has decided in a Florida first.

The 1st District Court of Appeal upheld a Duval County circuit judge’s refusal to dismiss a case against defendant Timothy Ryan O’Leary, who posted a Facebook status threatening a relative and her same-sex partner in 2011.

O’Leary had posted a status, stating he would “tear the concrete up with your face and drag you back to your doorstep.” He added, “(You) better watch how … you talk to people. You were born a woman and you better stay one.”

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