Reece Davis, a 24-year-old man from northern England, has been sentenced to two years and four months in prison after making anonymous threats against Tennessee schoolchildren in a Facebook group.
Davis posted on a memorial page for a Tennessee student in February, saying that he was going to kill his father first, then went on to write: “I’m gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself, so you want to tell the deputy, I’m on my way.” He plead guilty to the crime in April. It’s unknown why Davis targeted the Facebook group that he did, but his threat caused 2,900 children to miss school in Tennessee’s Warren County. Davis said he could not explain his post, and called his message “idiotic, childish and pathetic.”
Facebook users seem to be slow to get the message that police forces are now using the site to sniff out crimes before they occur, as evidenced by the recent case of a Texas teen who was arrested for making sarcastic threats on the site. In cases like these two, the law has seemingly made an interesting distinction: Facebook trolls can be charged for crimes that they don’t commit, but say they’re going to commit. It serves as a helpful reminder to always watch what you post and say on the site, because you never know what might raise a red flag.