By Jennifer Lockhart July 17, 2013 7:51pm
Parents of teenagers: impress upon them the trouble they can get into when they make comments on social media sites. Two teenagers are in the news for saying some very sick and disturbing things on Facebook. They are both facing jail time because of these comments.
20-year-old Matthew Woods from England, a frequent visitor of Sickipedia (a dirty jokes website), thought it would be funny to make comments about two very young girls who were abducted. Both are still missing, but one of them (April Jones, who disappeared in 2012) is presumed dead.
Most of us normal folk wouldn’t consider this fodder for humor. Apparently he did.
It seems that none of his Facebook friends shared his sense of humor. An angry mob of 50 or so showed up outside of Woods’ house. Soon after, he was arrested at another location for his own safety. He entered a guilty plea for the charge of “sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive,” and was sentenced to three months in prison. He suspects that when he’s released, he might not be able to return to his home address. No doubt the fallout from his online blabber will follow him around for a while.
19-year-old Texan Justin Carter, another gem of a young man, is currently at Comal County Jail after an argument on Facebook over the video game League of Legends got ridiculous. Someone made a comment that Carter was insane, crazy, messed up in the head (I’m paraphrasing). Carter’s reply, according to court documents, was: “I’m f—ed in the head alright. I think I’ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them.” This comment was made two months after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Again, real funny stuff.
In true demonstration of the Internet’s ability to get you in trouble, a woman in Canada reported his comment to the authorities. They took it seriously, as Carter’s home is half a mile from an elementary school. He was arrested of course, and his bond was set at $500,000. Carter’s lawyer says he’s represented murderers with much lower bonds. He thinks that’s ridiculous, but I disagree. A person charged with murder has been jailed for a terrible crime which has already happened. Carter has threatened to commit a horrendous, disgusting, and unthinkable crime which is still preventable. The court, therefore, sets his bail so high that his family can’t afford to get him out of jail.
The police searched Justin Carter’s home, and could not find any evidence that he intended any wrongdoing. It seems that he just said something he really should not have said in the wrong forum.
As for Matthew Woods: you have to be a certain special kind of guy to make comments and jokes, particularly those of a sexual nature (which some of them were), about five- and three-year-old girls. I have no doubt we’ll see him in the news again when he commits a few crimes of his own. It’s a bleak outlook, but a 19-year-old who can make comments like that gives me the shivers. By that age you should at least have a basic moral code.