Social Media gives a loud voice to something as small as a tweet, Teen Arrested for Terrorist Tweet Joke

What people don’t get putting their words or images on social media is their posts can be a loud voice.  And part of the broadcast can get you in trouble.  CNET posts on teenager who got arrested for a terrorist threat tweet.

Twittering teen arrested after 'joke' terror threat to American Airlines

A teen tweets at American Airlines that she's from Afghanistan, a member of al-Qaeda, and is "gonna do something really big." The airline responds forcefully. The teen is frightened, then arrested.

  • 4
sarah1.pngPerhaps not the wisest tweet.Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some people have not learned the lesson that falsely shouting fire in a movie theater is not protected by the freedom of speech.

The Schenck case[edit]

Holmes, writing for a unanimous Court, ruled that it was a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917 (amended with the Sedition Act of 1918), to distribute flyers opposing the draft during World War I. Holmes argued this abridgment of free speech was permissible because it presented a "clear and present danger" to the government's recruitment efforts for the war. Holmes wrote:

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

Holmes wrote of falsely shouting fire, because, of course, if there were a fire in a crowded theater, one may rightly indeed shout "Fire!"; one may, depending on the law in operation, even be obliged to. Falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, i.e. shouting "Fire!" when one believes there to be no fire in order to cause panic, was interpreted not to be protected by the First Amendment.