A Virginia woman was arrested this week for Facebook thugging after she allegedly posted a picture of herself pointing a gun to her online social media account.
Kristin Holmes, a 26-year old from Chesterfield, was charged with harassment by computer after she got into a heated online argument with another user when she was mistaken for someone else.
The self proclaimed Facebook thug posted a picture of herself smiling and aiming a gun at the camera to her Facebook account and captioned the photo using violent terms, according to the Daily Mail.
“I’ll post a few actual pics of me so you know the difference when you come find me.”
Other Facebook users reported Holmes to nearby Henrico police for her Facebook thugging. Those officers contacted police in Chesterfield, where Holmes resides.
Holmes was charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for he Facebook thugging and she could be forced to spend a year in jail and pay a fine of $2,500.
However, Holmes told the Daily Mail she didn’t intend to threaten anyone and merely meant the photo as a joke.
“It wasn’t a threat. I thought it was a funny picture, and then I realized later that it was a little bit intimidating. So I took it down. What happened to freedom of speech?”
What she did is illegal in Virginia, according to Kevin Carroll with the Fraternal Order of Police. He told NBC 12 “On Your Side” that the state code says its illegal to use a computer to threaten someone, use vulgar language or commit immoral acts.
“It’s actually against the law to say it in public. It’s a part of the disorderly conduct statute. If it’s against the law to say it in public why wouldn’t it be against the law to say it to someone through a computer?”
When NBC 12 On Your Side first reported the story, it set off a wave of comments about the free speech rights of Internet users and whether Holmes had the right to respond in such a way after being confronted.
This isn’t the first time social media users have been arrested for something they did while online.
Last year, a man was arrested after posting violent song lyrics describing a school shooting to his Facebook page, according to the Inquisitr.
Holmes told NBC “12 On Your Side” she was shocked at her charges and plans to appeal them.
“Be careful what you put on the Internet because you can go to jail for it. Facebook thugging is a crime.”