New Braunfels, TX - A teen is facing the possibility of eight years in prison for a morbid Facebook post that proves sarcasm is really hard to pull off online.
Facebook brings people together, but not so that they can flippantly (albeit sarcastically) claim that they're going to shoot up a school full of kids. That's what 18-year-old Justin Carter did after a game of League of Legends went south for him.
Jack Carter, Justin's father, recounts what went wrong:
"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."
"Lol" and "jk" notwithstanding, the threat was taken seriously by police after a woman spotted it and Google'd Justin's address.
After a brief investigation, police arrested Carter, and he has been in jail since March 27. He is charged with making a terroristic threat which could get him eight years in prison.
"These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made," Carter said.
The father also said that Justin was unaware of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut in December of 2012.
"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," The elder Carter said.
Friends and family have started a change.org petition to get the charges against Carter dropped, and to set clearer definitions for what constitutes a "terroristic threat." It has just over 1,300 supporters.
"If I can just help one person to understand that social media is not a playground, that when you go out there into social media, when you use Facebook, when you use Twitter, when you go out there and make comments on news articles, and the things you are saying can and will be used against you," Jack Carter added.
Do you think that Justin Carter should be punished for his flippant and sarcastic Facebook post?
[Image via: Thinglass / Shutterstock]