September 21, 2017

FBI Chicago Produces 'Think Before You Post' Public Service Announcement

Every year, the FBI receives thousands of reports about threats made over social media. While many of them are meant as a joke, law enforcement thoroughly and quickly investigates each and every one of them as a serious threat to public safety. The public rightfully expects no less. These threats lead to a wide- scale emergency response and, in some instances, the closing of businesses, schools, or other public locations.

In an effort to warn social media users to strongly consider the ramifications and consequences of their messages before they are posted, the FBI Chicago Field Office has produced a public service announcement to help the public clearly understand the critical importance of doing so, announced Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson.

In this announcement, you will hear a chilling firsthand account from a Chicago college student about what happened to him after he posted a very serious threatening message of mass violence in November 2015. The threat, which was only posted briefly before being deleted, was reported to law enforcement after being seen by another person in New York who happened to be looking at the same social media site.

The student says he deeply regrets not immediately recognizing the traumatic impact of his post and the significant diversion of law enforcement and community resources to rapidly respond to this threat. The student discusses his realization of the gravity of his post when the FBI arrested him.

What this college student posted and took down in less than a minute resulted in a lifetime of consequences.