Before putting someone on blast via Twitter, you might want to take a second to think about if you might receive jail time for it. Social media is changing the face of the Criminal Justice System, as we know it. We are all too familiar with the ongoing case of the 18-year-old Rutger’s student jumping to his death after his roommate exploited him by streaming live video that has put cyber bullying on the map for the court systems. Social media isn’t black and white and has a gray area that we still are trying to decide considerable jail time or a slap on the wrist.
Unfortunately for one man, social media went from tweeting straight to handcuffs. A ten-year prison sentence was given to a Kuwaiti man after being convicted of endangering state security by insulting towards the Prophet Mohammad and the Sunni Muslim rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. 26-year-old Shi'ite Muslim Hamad al-Naqi pleaded innocent to all charges against him made last month from his Twitter faux pas. Naqui’s tweet was considered blasphemy, which is illegal in Kuwait under the 1961 press and publications law. Naqi was found guilty after he claimed he did not post the messages and that his Twitter account had been hacked. Another case similar to Naquis’ is A Turkish Pianist who is facing charges against him for mocking Islamic beliefs about paradise in April. If convicted, he could spend up to a year and half in jail for inciting hatred and public enmity, insulting “religious values”.
These kinds of cases may seem bizarre to most, but prepare for similar cases like this one to pop up in the future. Like any piece of evidence, social media has been used to make or break a case. Two years after the death of an infant, mother Julie M. Calahan was found guilty after police discovered messages between the 23-year-old mother and a Facebook Friend talking about hurting her child the morning before the child’s death.
So before posting death threats or insulting another via social media, think about tweeting from a jail cell. That last message was to you, Beliebers.