Threaten a presidential candidate online and you could wind up with the FBI at your door
Anyone who's followed political discussion on Facebook or Twitter can tell you that it's easy for political rhetoric to get real heated, real fast. But things got a little too hot to handle when a Twitter user, identified only as "Mr. X," threatened presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) with a sexually charged tweet. Now, a federal judge has ruled that social networking company Twitter must release all the information they have about Mr. X to federal investigators so the threat can be fully analyzed.
According to Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of Washington, "Mr. X's body of tweets is extremely crude and in almost incomprehensibly poor taste." And while the judge does not personally believe that the unknown Twitter user has plans to physically harm Rep. Bachmann with a "Vietnam era machete," he believes the authorities have a responsibility to fully investigate the threats and determine their legitimacy.
"The safety and security of those who seriously aspire to the federal government's highest office is of paramount concern to each and every citizen," said Lamberth. "Threats to presidential candidates undermine the very legitimacy of our electoral process."
Charges have yet to be filed against Mr. X.
[Image credit: Gage Skidmore]
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- Michele Bachmann
- Royce Lamberth