Emad Elsayed, a student at a flight school in Southern California, said on Facebook that he would be willing to face jail time for killing Donald Trump because he would be doing the world a favor. The university withdrew support for Elsayed’s visa and he is now facing the possibility of deportation back to Egypt.
I think this is important because it illustrates how critical it is to carefully monitor what you say on the internet. You can’t just go willy-nilly posting what ever you want wherever you want and not face consequences. Everything is public and odds are, even if you hide behind false aliases, someone can still trace it back to you. If you don’t post responsibly, you can miss out on opportunities because a certain employer doesn’t like what you said on the internet. As an avid internet and social media user, I don’t like the idea of a cheap joke I made on Tumblr being my downfall, but it is a real possibility.
Even if it is just a joke, laws in America take threats very seriously, and for good reasons. It is often difficult to distinguish jokes from real threats. When we just assume that death threats are jokes, people can end up dead. I remember Elliot Roger, the California student who committed a massacre on campus. There were warning signs that should have been taken seriously, the attack didn’t happen completely out of the blue. From what I have gathered, I have inferred that Elsayed’s threat was unfounded and a one time event. With this considered, I think deportation is kind of extreme. However, I believe it is important to maintain it as a principle that threats must be taken seriously, so he should face some consequences.
I am going to look at this from Donald Trump’s perspective even though I don’t agree with or support him. There is no reason Trump shouldn’t be mocked and ridiculed for his outrageous ideas, that is just freedom of speech. If people disagree with you, it is their right to voice their opinions. This is even more true if you are a public figure. However, Trump shouldn’t have to feel like someone might try to kill him. How would you feel if you saw people talking about killing you on the internet? Would it be funny? Would it be a joke?