#1 Edited by Blastroid (257 posts) -

http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/27/texas-teen-makes-violent-joke-during-video-game-is-jailed-for-months/

Not going to post exactly what he said as you will need to read the article and I don;t want those comments google spidered with my name on the post. ;)

Now I don't like what the kid posted and it proves that young kids will say just about anything online to get a reaction but jail time? I understand freedom of speech is protected unless it can cause a crowed mayhem (like yelling fire) or a threat. If you take out the "lol" and "jk" from his statement you get a 100% threat but when adding those in is it still a threat? Does context change with just a few letters?

This will be an interesting case to watch. This of course goes far beyond just video games but more about online comments. If you write something instead of say it is it more or less punishable? If someone said out loud in a room of people what that kid wrote but still ended it with "lol", "jk"m or "just kidding" is it still a threat?

Comedians get away with allot by ending with "just kidding" Doubt a comedian would talk about a school like this but they do joke about airports that would be considered a treat if taken out of context. Laws may be black and white but interpretation of the law and the context is what this case will be all about.

What is your opinion?

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#2 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5833 posts) -

I think his comments are a cause for concern, but sentencing him to 8 years in jail is ridiculous.

#3 Edited by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

I've heard people say much, much worse and they're not getting eight year prison sentences. This is pretty ridiculous IMO, a stupid comment while playing a stupid video game is not conspiracy.

#4 Posted by iAmJohn (6121 posts) -

Context is everything, and the context of this makes his statements completely fucking innocuous. The fact that they really want to prosecute a kid for this, the fuck is wrong with this country?

#5 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Thats super fucked up.

I've said worse things before.

#6 Posted by Chop (1999 posts) -

Shit, I've said way worse than that...

#7 Posted by TurboMan (7558 posts) -

This is dumb. Kid was just trying to get a rise out of someone on the internet in this post-4chan world we live in. It was dumb to type out, but in no way should you be punished like that.

#8 Posted by Saethir (353 posts) -

I wonder if anyone in this thread will agree with the sentencing.

For the record, I am not that person. This is super dumb.

#9 Edited by Jace (1094 posts) -

That's insanity. Fuck Canada.

BRB SOMEONES AT THE D

#10 Posted by Jimbo (9819 posts) -

Is this a real thing? That's ridiculous.

There was a similar case in the UK, which was also hella dumb. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter_Joke_Trial

#11 Posted by schreiberty (208 posts) -

what i dont get is how ryze is fighting blue in baron pit

#12 Edited by Giganteus (185 posts) -

@clonedzero said:

Thats super fucked up.

I've said worse things before.

@chop said:

Shit, I've said way worse than that...

I'm sorry, but for the safety of free people everywhere I'm going to have to report you two to the authorities.

#13 Posted by Superkenon (1438 posts) -

I'm all for the dumb shit you say on the Internet having real world consequences, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind.

#14 Edited by mellotronrules (1193 posts) -

he hasn't been sentenced, correct? if they can produce chat logs with the 'lol' and 'jk,' i imagine that'll get his potential punishment knocked down a shitload.

granted, it probably shouldn't have come to this, but the dude sounds like a dumbass. he's 19, and he should know better than to run his mouth. i'm not saying he deserves incarceration, but by the same token, i wouldn't hang out in front of the NYSE in a balaclava, or randomly place empty boxes in times square.

#15 Posted by Boom_goes_the_dynamite (725 posts) -

I'm all for the dumb shit you say on the Internet having real world consequences, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind.

Yeah this might be taking it a bit too far. But everything is bigger in Texas, right? Including the punishment for stupid sarcastic comments.

#16 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

he hasn't been sentenced, correct? if they can produce chat logs with the 'lol' and 'jk,' i imagine that'll get his potential punishment knocked down a shitload.

granted, it probably shouldn't have come to this, but the dude sounds like a dumbass. he's 19, and he should know better than to run his mouth. i'm not saying he deserves incarceration, but by the same token, i wouldn't hang out in front of the NYSE in a balaclava, or randomly place empty boxes in times square.

Have you ever met a 19 year old online? they shit talk more than anyone....

#18 Posted by JasonR86 (9714 posts) -

What a waste of time, jail/prison space, and taxpayer money. As a therapist, if I had that sort of power and used such little thought, a lot of my clients would be in prison.

#19 Posted by Gruebacca (521 posts) -

One-off comments like this made in video game chat boxes are done all the time. The real meaning behind comments like these is a way for a player to "1-Up" his opponents and appear to be better than his adversaries. I think the comment made by this teen went a little too far, but I believe this is a result of the teen not fine tuning his joke-making skills. Kids of this age group may not exactly know all the rules of social interaction, and it's complicated, to be honest.

And now he's being accused of terrorism, because no one has taken the time to research the culture of video game players and the way they normally communicate with each other.

#20 Posted by mellotronrules (1193 posts) -

@mellotronrules said:

he hasn't been sentenced, correct? if they can produce chat logs with the 'lol' and 'jk,' i imagine that'll get his potential punishment knocked down a shitload.

granted, it probably shouldn't have come to this, but the dude sounds like a dumbass. he's 19, and he should know better than to run his mouth. i'm not saying he deserves incarceration, but by the same token, i wouldn't hang out in front of the NYSE in a balaclava, or randomly place empty boxes in times square.

Have you ever met a 19 year old online? they shit talk more than anyone....

i see your 19 year old LoL player, and raise you a sugared-up pubscent 15 year old CoD player on XBL.

#21 Posted by jakob187 (21676 posts) -

This is so fucking stupid. Given that this was in League of Legends, I can already imagine what the exact conversation was:

Other player: "s20, this fucker feeds."
This kid: "oh yeah my fault you suck bitch"
Other player: "says 0/22 yi ap mid yi fucking sucks uninstall plz"
This kid: "fuck you man you fed cho'gath up top"
Other player: "youre messed up in the head if you think i fed dipshit"
This kid: "oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts"
"lol"
"jk"

If it wasn't something like that, it was something like this:

Other players: "OMG STOP DL'ING PORN AND YOU WILL QUIT LAGGING"
"stop playing on a ti82 idiot"
This kid: "i like tentacle porn best, they love me long time"
Other players: "i love the octopussy"
"you guys are messed up"
This kid: "oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts"
"lol"
"jk"

Basically, it's stupid shit being said for the sake of saying stupid shit.

This country needs to get its hens in a row at some point and stop being so fucking idiotic about this shit.

#22 Posted by obcdexter (608 posts) -

Dude, I could get a lot of FIFA-players behind bars if THAT's all it takes ... O_o

#23 Posted by jakob187 (21676 posts) -

@politicalscientist said:

Anyone defending this kind of behavior is a fucking moron and sums up why I hate gamers. They should do a little research and learn what Free Speech actually means.

Would you defend someone who said they were going to shoot up the Giant Bomb offices?

How is this different?

1. It's no type of threat. It's someone talking stupid shit on an internet game best known for people talking massive shit and saying stupid things.

2. The context in which this particular case was used as a form of sarcasm after what I can imagine being someone talking shit to this kid.

3. Free speech means FREE speech. Say what you want. You can literally say anything you want. The problem is that this country has gone so far in terms of censorship that they lost common sense and logic.

#24 Edited by mellotronrules (1193 posts) -

i mean, the fundamentally obvious solution to this is as follows: don't be an asshole. if it's something you'd be uncomfortable saying loudly in public transit or a crowded restaurant, chances are you shouldn't be saying it in public chats.

and let me be clear- i don't think this young adult deserves what he's getting. but just like someone can shrug off an incendiary remark, others can overreact. if you insist on being a dick in what's effectively public, you have to be prepared to face the consequences (justified or not).

#25 Edited by GERALTITUDE (3345 posts) -

I hope this passes and becomes the new standard. World be a better place if we locked up everyone running their mouths, but then again I suppose there'd be no one to play against online anymore.

#26 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Anyone defending this kind of behavior is a fucking moron and sums up why I hate gamers. They should do a little research and learn what Free Speech actually means.

Would you defend someone who said they were going to shoot up the Giant Bomb offices?

How is this different?

Yes i would given the proper context.

Yeah he's a fucking moron and perhaps his LoL account should be suspended or banned, but fucking jail time? are you serious?

#27 Posted by DarthOrange (3864 posts) -

Ryan said the "F" word once during the stream.

I'm telling.

#28 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

Holy fuck america you are getting crazier by the second. It was obviously sarcasm and I can't beleive it held up in court. If the kid was posting that comment again and again and again all over the place then sure look into his life, but an off hand comment like that does not deserve jail time.

#29 Posted by mlarrabee (2967 posts) -

@politicalscientist said:

Anyone defending this kind of behavior is a fucking moron and sums up why I hate gamers. They should do a little research and learn what Free Speech actually means.

Would you defend someone who said they were going to shoot up the Giant Bomb offices?

How is this different?

I haven't seen anyone defend it.

The kid was not posing a credible threat. It was a stupid thing to post, but within its context it carries no weight.

No judge can in good conscience pass down an eight year sentence after an examination of the evidence. This is a simple case of the presiding judge knowing Schenck v. U.S. but not Brandenburg v. Ohio. Idiots continue to run the judicial system.

#30 Posted by TheHBK (5488 posts) -

Anyone defending this kind of behavior is a fucking moron and sums up why I hate gamers. They should do a little research and learn what Free Speech actually means.

Would you defend someone who said they were going to shoot up the Giant Bomb offices?

How is this different?

didn't someone already try to do this and Jeff broke that fool in half? I think the crew can handle themselves.

#31 Posted by Subjugation (4722 posts) -

Yet another example of how adults don't have any understanding of how different the youth culture of today is, especially with the internet, than the culture they grew up with. If the logic behind this case was applied universally to all internet based communication (games and more) there would be A TON of people in jail. The thing is, 99.9% of comments made like this aren't ever serious, just as I'm sure this kid's comment wasn't serious. Context is pretty important.

#32 Posted by Draxyle (1860 posts) -

It's a stupid thing to say, but there are rapists and robbers that get a fraction of that jail sentence at best. It's grounds for an investigation on him, perhaps, but he's being jailed for sarcasm. That's completely ridiculous.

#33 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

Also 8 years for a THREAT? That's fucking insane. I could go beat the fuck out of my pizza dude with my fists and get less time for that.

#34 Posted by LiquidElite (88 posts) -

If you got beef with C-O-P's

throw a Molotov at the P-I-G's

Cause they be harassing you and me

ya gotta understand we still not free...


#35 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Let's also not forget the fucking hag that looked the kid up, found his address and reported him because he lived near a elementary school. Almost everyone lives near a school. But that's beside the point what kind of weak-spined, police state- groveling society have we become when people report you to the police for making a joke while playing a game? I bet this person who sent the report is probably feeling quite powerful and smug right now. Disgusting.

This is the world we will be living in more and more. Innocent people will be dissapeared and jailed for "terroristic" ideas. Thanks Bush. Thanks Obama.

#36 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5584 posts) -

What's most concerning is that someone is facing hard time for an obviously sarcastic comment. It's not that uncommon for most people online to use extreme hyperbole.

It was an extremely dumb comment, as is most dialogue on the Internet, especially among a younger age group.

#37 Posted by Raven10 (1804 posts) -

If this happened anywhere else in the US I'd be surprised. In Texas? Hell they execute men for less. If he happens to be a minority or gay then he'll be lucky if he doesn't spend the rest of his life in prison.

Anyways, that is grounds for getting your account banned but 8 years in jail seems pretty excessive. He spent a couple months behind bars so he's learned his lesson. Anything more is ridiculous.

#38 Posted by Dagbiker (6977 posts) -

The problem is, sentencing him to prison, will not teach him a lesson, nor will it fix the problem. It will only foster actual hate for society. You should not punish people for saying things like this, you should welcome people to share their feelings like this. What if, he was going to go on a rampage, and told no one, be cause he was afraid of going to jail for saying it. Then people could be dead, and he might be a killer.

Punishing people for thoughts is only going to make the people who really want to carry this stuff out father and farther away.

#39 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@raven10 said:

If this happened anywhere else in the US I'd be surprised. In Texas? Hell they execute men for less. If he happens to be a minority or gay then he'll be lucky if he doesn't spend the rest of his life in prison.

Anyways, that is grounds for getting your account banned but 8 years in jail seems pretty excessive. He spent a couple months behind bars so he's learned his lesson. Anything more is ridiculous.

His life is already fucked over because of a comment on the internet. Its insane anyone is supporting this idea.

I think he should try and sue the state. I fucking would.

#40 Posted by JoeyRavn (4977 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

3. Free speech means FREE speech. Say what you want. You can literally say anything you want. The problem is that this country has gone so far in terms of censorship that they lost common sense and logic.

I think you are mixing things a bit here. "Free speech" is not absolutely free. Or, at least, it's not free as in "without consequences". Sure, no one can prevent you from actually saying literally anything you want. They can't gag you and stop you from saying, for example, that you love Hitler. But that doesn't mean that what you say will not have consequences because it's protected under "freedom of speech". Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights clearly states that:

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

So, yeah. It is generally agreed upon that if you're going to be an ass and abuse your supposed freedom of speech by insulting others or promoting ideologies that directly attack others, for example, then what you're saying is not protected by the right to freedom of speech.

Now, in this particular case, 8 years in prison may be a bit too much, and the woman who went against this guy clearly took the "joke" out of context. Trash talking and this kind of attempt at humor are part of the culture of MOBAs and other competitive video games, so you do have to take his words in context to understand that he was not being serious. That doesn't make him any less immature and his "joke" any less stupid, though.

#41 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

He should be out on bail as he is still awaiting trial. Right now all I'm seeing in that article is an arrest and charges filed by local prosecuting attorney. He has not been tried yet, nor has he been convicted of anything. That bullshit eight years number is the maximum allowable sentence for whatever specific charge has been filed. I am curious whether he has been denied bail or his family is unable to cover a bond?

As for his prospects in court; if his lawyer is good, he'll probably get the case thrown out before trial even starts. Absolute worst he's looking at is time served. Since I'm assuming he'll be a first offender if convicted, even that is completely outrageous. In order to get a conviction on charges along the lines of "threats," the state has to prove there is some level of legitimacy to the potential that said threat could be carried out. Not only that the threat was meant sincerely, but also whether the person charged has the will and means to execute it. Which is a major stretch here unless the boy has a legal history I am not aware of.

#42 Posted by Blastroid (257 posts) -

If he does get 8 years it I would like to ask him when he gets out would he get a PS5 or Xbox Zero.

#43 Posted by mlarrabee (2967 posts) -

@raven10: You accused Texas of being simultaneously extremely conservative and extremely liberal.

#44 Posted by Blastroid (257 posts) -

@raven10: You accused Texas of being simultaneously extremely conservative and extremely liberal.

I live in Texas and we have both.

#45 Posted by LaszloKovacs (1144 posts) -

That seems like the DA might be either making some kind of headline grab, or maybe it's a poorly considered kneejerk reaction after Sandy Hook. Either way, it's fucking stupid. I mean, it's an ill-advised thing to say, but it's also an 18 year old kid saying it. And it's also pretty clearly a sarcastic response to being called "crazy" by a stranger on the internet. I'd imagine that if this thing goes any further, it's going to get thrown out, but how much longer is this kid going to spend in prison before that happens? He's been in there for months already.

Also, the comment thread on the news site went from zero to "literally comparing the federal government to Nazis" in about two posts flat. lol, internet

#46 Posted by Hunkulese (2742 posts) -

I was fully expecting his comments to be some incredibly vile racist hate speech directed at someone. In that case I could understand the authorities possibly getting involved. While what he said was insensitive and inappropriate it's ridiculous that he's in jail for it.

If this comment was made in game how does some "Canadian woman" find out his name and address to send to the police?

#47 Posted by mlarrabee (2967 posts) -

@blastroid: Yes, but they generally hold to their areas of the state. Austin is largely liberal; I doubt you'd find someone there getting excessive sentencing because of their sexual preference, as the user suggested.

#48 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

This is insane. No one should go to jail for 8 years ( provided he's proven guilty ) for acting like a jerk in the worst gaming community on Earth. Worse shit than this is being said every 10 seconds in that game.

#50 Posted by ThePickle (4184 posts) -

Closed it the second I saw it was on dailycaller. The audience for that site seems to be 40-60 year old white racists.

I didn't scroll down to the comments, but I bet they found a way to blame Obama for this.