FBI In El Paso Tells Students ‘Don’t Post Or Share Hoax Online Threats’
Last school year, there were a number social media posts about false threats to El Paso area schools in the wake of the February 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This school year, the FBI in El Paso is warning that if someone is caught posting a fake threat on social media, they can expect to hear from law enforcement.
The FBI announced the #ThinkBeforeYouPost campaign to help stop hoax threats. It began in May of this year and is aimed at middle and high schools. The FBI says it costs a lot of taxpayer money to deal with fake threats. It ties up law enforcement resources, and you can face criminal charges as well as punishment at school if you are part of a hoax school threat.
Several juveniles were arrested in connection with fake social media school threats. They now face state charges of making terroristic threats. FBI officials say if you know of a potential threat, you should report it to law enforcement by calling 911, but if you know a threat is fake you should not share it on social media. Doing so only spreads the fear of a possible incident.
The FBI can get involved in threats to schools and public places under federal interstate communication laws. Under federal law, punishments range from up to five years in prison up to life in prison if someone dies during the incident,
You can call in a tip to the FBI about suspected terrorism or criminal activity by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can also report it online at tips.fbi.gov.