Hey! It’s all fun and games posting jokes and silly pranks until your status update or a comment on a social media platform lands you in jail. Most of us are not aware that something as simple as a twitter hoax may have us calling mom or that close friend to post bail.
There’s been a lot of cases where tweets landed people in jail with the most recent one being the young girl who jokingly threatened to blow up an airline, here are a few more of Freedom of Speech instences gone wrong:
*14-year-old Dutch girl named Sarah was arrested after tweeting a threat to American Airlines claiming to be an Al-Qaeda operative. The Airline responded, stating: “Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.” The girl then panicked and started apologising to the airline explaining that it was just a joke and she’s just a girl and she’s “not even from Afghanistan” like she claimed she was but the airline never replied back.
*While on vacation in Thailand, Rihanna posted a selfie of herself on Instagram with a protected primate called a slow loris perched on her shoulder and this led to several arrests. Authorities arrested two people, a 20-year-old and a 16-year-old, who provided the loris for the photo opp. The two face a penalty of four years in jail and a fine of about R13 000. The Stay hitmaker also live tweeted about a sex show she went to and the tweets led to the arrest of the bar owner on charges of obscenity and operating a bar without a permit.
* Dakkari McAnuff was arrested after posting a picture on twitter pointing a rifle at a public street with the caption “100 RTs and I shoot someone walking.” The 20-year-old was arrested after the police traced his address from his twitter account which was later suspended. Even though he did not actually shoot anyone and claims that it was just a prank, he was still kept in jail and issued with a fine of about R500 000.
*A Capetonian was arrested for breaking copyright and counterfeit goods laws after an investigator saw a tweet from someone asking if others had seen the Four Corners movie prior to it being released on cinema circuits. The investigator conducted further investigation and found the movie on a torrent site and this subsequently led to the arrest of 29-year-old Majedien Machos Norton.
These are just a few scenarios where silly tweets, Facebook comments or Instagram posts have landed people in jail. Some of these cases just go to show that common sense is not that common and some are cases of not knowing where to draw the line when it comes to social media and the law.
With the world going through a digital migration, it’s almost impossible to avoid these platforms so the best thing that one can do is know just how far one can go because, Big Brother is watching and the truth is, Freedom of Speech is not free at all.
Follow me on twitter @Miss_Ratshi I promise I wont get you into trouble with my tweets!
Feature image from LatinPost