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Teen Jailed for Facebook Death Threat

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 42 comments

Note: death threats online always leaves a virtual paper trail.

Is freedom of speech becoming a luxury of the past? That may be the case, especially when used in a "cyber-bullying" verbal attack online. As seen with the suicide of Megan Meier stemming from comments made on MySpace, Internet harassment can be lethal, and now many countries are taking action against individuals harassing others online.

The latest cyber-bullying incident has now made 18-year-old Keeley Houghton the first person to be jailed in Britain due to bullying on a social networking site. According this article, Houghton actually posted a death threat in regards to Emily Moore on Facebook; Houghton had bullied Moore for four years at school prior to the virtual threat.

"Keeley is going to murder the bitch," Houghton wrote on her Facebook page. "She is an actress. What a ------- liberty. Emily ----head Moore."

According to Prosecutor Sara Stock, there was an altercation between the two teens before the Facebook posting. Apparently, Houghton approached Moore at a pub and asked for a "huggle" despite two previous convictions relating to her vendetta against Moore.

"I'll give you something to ring the police about," Houghton threatened when Moore refused the hug and threatened to call the police if Houghton didn't leave her alone.

Houghton pleaded guilty to harassment charges and now serves three months in a young offenders' institution. She was also banned from contacting Moore for five years.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , August 24, 2009 10:39 PM
    I think this is kinda reasonable, 3 months punishment...ya that girl needs to grow up maybe some not so hard time will do that. BUT this does set a dangerous precedence. I think threats of violence are unacceptable but good old shit talking should still be ok lol.
  • 18 Hide
    justiceguy216 , August 24, 2009 10:37 PM
    mlcloudNothing ever makes sense anymore.

    ...and your comment proves this. Not to slam you, just you may want to try reading that aloud, it's rather hard to follow.
Other Comments
    Display all 42 comments.
  • 18 Hide
    justiceguy216 , August 24, 2009 10:37 PM
    mlcloudNothing ever makes sense anymore.

    ...and your comment proves this. Not to slam you, just you may want to try reading that aloud, it's rather hard to follow.
  • 18 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , August 24, 2009 10:39 PM
    I think this is kinda reasonable, 3 months punishment...ya that girl needs to grow up maybe some not so hard time will do that. BUT this does set a dangerous precedence. I think threats of violence are unacceptable but good old shit talking should still be ok lol.
  • 3 Hide
    P_haze420 , August 24, 2009 10:55 PM
    Internet, serious business.
  • 7 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , August 24, 2009 10:58 PM
    Death threat is absolutely intolerable and not protected under freedom of speech. Who ever she is, deserves jail time for what she did.

  • -8 Hide
    calmstateofmind , August 24, 2009 11:15 PM
    okay.....so i really dont see the big deal. its not like she was in person saying that she was going to kill her. it was over facebook. if the girl was serious then she would have said it in person, of which she has had the chance to do so for over four years. people talk a lot more shit when they can do it over the internet because they have something to hide behind.

    also, to me this somewhat ties into what kids are listening to and watching these days. its pretty much a given that if somebody is listening to rap 24/7, and it talking about killing people all the time or drugs or sex, then the person becomes numb to it and it doesn't seem like a big deal to them anymore. and its the same way with movies....or even tv for that matter. if the govt. expects for kids to not say such things then they shouldnt be allowing them to be exposed to it as much as they are right now, and the amount of exposure is increasing too. its not so black and white.
  • 1 Hide
    dingumf , August 24, 2009 11:23 PM
    You people take internet far too seriously.

  • -1 Hide
    Raid3r , August 24, 2009 11:57 PM
    No, I don't agree that the government should be making laws that remove the responsibility of protecting yourself away. WTF am I talking about when was the last time a saw a real merry-go-round..oh. sigh
  • 1 Hide
    Zenthar , August 24, 2009 11:59 PM
    To me, article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should prime above all else: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Based on that one should still be able to critic and question one's intention or motives without attacking the person directly.
  • -1 Hide
    megamanx00 , August 25, 2009 2:01 AM
    Sigh
  • 9 Hide
    claudeb , August 25, 2009 3:21 AM
    I say three months for just saying "Huggle"
  • 1 Hide
    Greg_77 , August 25, 2009 4:04 AM
    Huggle? Why the h3ll did she say that?
  • 7 Hide
    thisisstupid , August 25, 2009 4:38 AM
    lololololol im going to kill all of you.
  • 3 Hide
    thirdshop , August 25, 2009 4:44 AM
    calmstateofmindokay.....so i really dont see the big deal. its not like she was in person saying that she was going to kill her. it was over facebook. if the girl was serious then she would have said it in person, of which she has had the chance to do so for over four years. people talk a lot more shit when they can do it over the internet because they have something to hide behind.

    The problem is that the two people actually do know each other and presumably where the other lives. The perp had two previous convictions. It's equivalent to sending threatening mail.
  • -3 Hide
    asdffdsaasdf , August 25, 2009 4:51 AM
    i agree with thisisstupid
  • -3 Hide
    asdffdsaasdf , August 25, 2009 4:56 AM
    I think at this point we might as well have a communist government. everyother right is taken away?
  • 8 Hide
    doomtomb , August 25, 2009 5:29 AM
    Believe it or not but threatening to murder someone is something that can be reported to the police and action may be taken. I think this case is warranted, this teen sounds like an asshole and deserves the time. Online or not, sending someone death threats isn't something to joke about.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2009 8:15 AM
    I am somewhat torn on this issue. I believe that things such as death threats are inappropriate be it online or in person. In this especially since the two girls knew each other and it would have been possible to actually carry out the death threat. Then again joking saying saying you are going to kill someone should not be take as an actually treat but the line is rather thin (and depends on the persons sense of hummor and manner of saying it).

    But I am extremely fed up with all these people wining about cyber bullying. All of us should be taught coping skills ans self esteem by our parents because in life you should not expect everyone to like you. This is especially true in middle or high school where kids can be vicious (and I had my share of bullying in middle school). Where the whole problem lies is many kids seem to have only virtual friends rather than good friends that they can meet with face to face and have a real and meaningful conversion and talk out issues they may have face to face. The fact that many of these kids are sitting behind a computer rather than facing the person means they are writing nastier things about others that they would probably never have the courage to say face to face. So between people with more fragile personalities and nastier children we should get used to more kids being depressed and some taking their lives. It is funny that many countries now want to legislate what can and cannot be written of forums\blogs and facebook\myspace account. My suggestion is: people get a life that involves something other than sitting in front of the computer engaging in virtual drinks and snowball fights...there is a lot more to life.
  • 1 Hide
    amnotanoobie , August 25, 2009 9:56 AM
    calmstateofmindokay.....so i really dont see the big deal. its not like she was in person saying that she was going to kill her. it was over facebook. if the girl was serious then she would have said it in person, of which she has had the chance to do so for over four years.


    This is like writing on a letter that you intend to kill the person. Such letters are considered evidence in court, why should digitally written material be treated any differently?
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