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The time I got a death threat

Posted on 21 August 2012

Not me specifically. Just everyone involved in an organization I was part of. It was made online, via social media, with someone essentially saying he knew where we lived and he would kill us and burn our cars and other unsavory things. This post is not a slam to police because once we contacted them they sent someone to us and to the person’s home to check him out. But I do remember that one officer asked “Can’t you just block him so you don’t see his posts?”

That surprised me, because I don’t think that if I were in a parking lot with someone yelling death threats at me the police would ask if I could cover my ears. That’s why this Globe and Mail editorial resonates:

“The assumption cannot be made, however, that some of those ranters won’t act on their words. The Internet is not inherently less real than phone calls, letters or face-to-face conversations.”

If threats are not really threats, that’s one thing. There’s plenty of examples of people making off-handed comments that should not be taken as legitimate threats. But the assumption should not be made that what happens online will never enter the real world.

Filed under: personal

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