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What Happens After a Twitter Terror Threat?

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Considering a terror threat as a joke on Twitter? You may want to think of a less legally fraught way to entertain yourself.

Twitter user @queendemetriax_ probably wishes she did after American Airlines, the butt of her "joke" terror tweet, informed her that her IP address and details would be forwarded to the FBI, reports the New York Daily News. And that's not all that's happened to the 14-year-old Twitter user since her tweet went viral.

Here's why should you avoid tweeting terror pranks, and what can potentially happen if you send one:

Prank Tweet Riles American Airlines

On Sunday, a Twitter user (@queendemetriax_) who self-identified as 14-year-old teen named "Sarah" tweeted this message at American Airlines:

American Airlines promptly responded with:

"@queendemetriax_ Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI."

According to the Daily News, what followed was dozens of frantic tweets from "Sarah," pleading with American Airlines for mercy. Some of the more pathetic tweets from "Sarah" included that she didn't "have evil thoughts and plus I'm a white girl."

Although the Daily News reports that "Sarah" has deleted her account, Twitter currently describes her account as "suspended."

Don't Make Twitter Threats

This may seem like a no-brainer, but perhaps "Sarah" was too young to remember the American Airlines flights that were hijacked and crashed on 9/11. Even if your prank doesn't rise to the level of a terroristic threat, you can still be arrested for saying the airplane equivalent of "bomb" on Twitter.

For "Sarah," this isn't a hypothetical. UK's The Independent reported that the 14-year-old Dutch girl has been arrested in connection to the threat by police in Rotterdam. Jokesters like "Sarah" aren't just arrested in the Netherlands; a Texas teen was arrested for his sarcastic school shooting threat on Facebook less than a year ago after a stranger in Canada saw it and reported it to police.

In both "Sarah's" and the Texas boy's case, both teens claimed that they were joking, with "Sarah" reportedly tweeting "omfg I was kidding," reports the Independent. Lack of intent to cause harm may eventually save both teens from harsh criminal charges, but it still didn't save either of them from arrest.

Avoid the hassle of investigation and arrest for terrorism and simply avoid making fake (or real) threats on Twitter.

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