Another sad case of people being arrested purely for bad jokes/ranting on the internet.
“If they’re spending their time chasing around people like Justin Carter, I hope they’re not missing the real dangers to society, the real school shooters,” Flanary says. “There’s only a finite number of police, and if they’re chasing around guys who are being mean on Facebook, where are the ones fighting crime?” (Quoting article).
What I wish to draw attention to here is the fact that this problem is not limited to ‘political activists’ (though obviously because they are public figures, they become easier targets). The truth is that people are being arrested for victimless crimes – i.e. talking shit on the internet, which never amounts to anything further and obviously is never going to.
Concentrating on people talking shit on the internet draws attention away from the real problems and is a waste of legal resources. Like the man in this case above, it can happen to anyone.
The punishment outweighs the crime and is disproportional.
Talking shit on the internet is more dangerous than actually committing a crime because of the absurdity attributed to thought over deed – which of course was the premise behind Orwell’s 1984 and the concept of Big Brother/Thoughtcrime. Meanwhile, the real criminals who probably have the intelligence not to discuss such things over the internet reign free – legal resources are wasted elsewhere, such as on this Justin Carter person who was quite obviously just talking bullshit.
The key point here is this is now a problem for everyday citizens.