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When a Tweet is a Threat

Following up on an earlier blog post discussing how contact through social networking websites, such as Facebook, may be an arrestable offense when there is an existing restraining order in effect, threats posted on social networking websites may also give rise to the issuing of a restraining order. In Arizona, an argument between two college students was escalated when one of the students wrote on his Twitter account that he would "not hesitate to punch [the other student] in the face if I saw him . . . Just sayin." The other student then obtained a restraining order because of the "tweet."

Regardless of whether the "tweet" was a legitimate threat, it is important to realize that writing something of that nature on a social networking website makes it possible that the individual to whom you are referring might read it, and might take it seriously. Be smart. Don't take your arguments to the internet. You are just documenting the "he-said-she-said," which could come back to haunt you.

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