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Mama June of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" allegedly received death threats on her Facebook page by a man who faces felony charges as a result.
Andrew Kurt Summers turned himself to McIntyre, Georgia, police on Monday after officers obtained a warrant for his arrest, TMZ reports. June (legally June Thompson) claims that Summers threatened to "shoot both her and Pumpkin" (the nickname for June's 14-year-old daughter Lauryn Thompson.)
When Facebook death threats and reality TV collide, what's the legal result?
Facebook and 'Terroristic Threats'
OK, we're going to make this really simple. Facebook has been around for a little over a decade now. Like email and other "new" forms of communication, Americans are expected to have a basic understanding of how communications via Facebook intersect with the offline world. Yet, Facebook users routinely act as if no legal consequences will befall their use of death threats (joking or not):
Many of these arrestees have claimed, like Summers, that their alleged "threat" was just "a joke, a dumb mistake." But here's the problem: The laws defining these acts as felony terroristic threats many not require any sort of murderous intent. The U.S. Supreme Court is actually deciding the issue of "true threats" on Facebook this session.
Regardless of the High Court's ruling, making anything that even sounds like a death threat on Facebook is a terrible idea.
TMZ reports that Summers is repentant about the post and "has no ill will toward the family." But instead of just stopping there, he went on to explain that he was "trolling" Mama June's page because of June's alleged involvement with a convicted child molester.
To be honest, we're a bit surprised Mama June would shack up with a sex offender who did time for molesting June's own daughter, but you won't find us sharpening our knives on Facebook.
Even one conviction for terroristic threats in Georgia could land Summers in prison for at least one year -- which is no laughing matter.