Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. On February 14, just two months after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, an 18-year-old in Texas named Justin Carter was arrested. Carter, an avid gamer, got into a spat with a fellow League of Legends player on Facebook. And crazy jokes for facebook the beating heart of one of them.
Carter’s father says the next messages Carter wrote included “lol” and “jk” to imply he was kidding. It was a sarcastic remark in response to an insult. A woman in Canada was alarmed by Carter’s questionable comment and notified authorities. A jury in Texas’ Comal County charged the teenager with making a terroristic threat in April, which is considered a third-degree felony.
That means Carter could spend ten years in jail for the Facebook comment. 500,000, which his family can’t afford to pay. Carter’s trial is beginning this month but in the meantime, the teen’s father says his son has fallen into a deep depression. He’s very depressed, he’s very scared,” Jack Carter said, telling CNN that his son feels like he’ll never leave prison.
He’s pretty much lost all hope. And in an interview with NPR, Jack Carter painted a more gruesome picture of his son’s experience in jail. He says his son has had “concussions, black eyes” and “moved four times for his own protection. He also says his son is nude in solitary confinement because of his depression.
In a social media world where younger generations are learning to speak now and think later, how far does freedom of speech really go? While Carter’s father understands why authorities had to investigate his son, he doesn’t feel an impulsive comment on Facebook should be this detrimental. He just totally got caught up in the moment of the argument and didn’t really think about the implications,” Jack Carter tells NPR. And I just want him out. Nobody’s life should be ruined because of a sarcastic comment.
On the podcast, Dawson described a conversation he had on Instagram with a 6-year-old girl, who he said told him that she was a cheerleader with more than 100,000 followers. And she shows me her Instagrams which are like—first of all— I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this but, like, she’s, like, sexy,” Dawson said. Here’s my thing: People have foot fetishes. People have fetishes about, you know, everything. And there’s websites on the internet where they can look at that weird creepy s–t and jerk off to it.
Okay, fine, everybody do your thing. First of all, I don’t understand why anybody would be turned on by that,” he said on the podcast. Dawson said that he was kidding, but the episode recirculated online and was met with immediate backlash. Late Wednesday, he issued a lengthy video statement.
I’m going to start by saying I am not a f–king pedophile. I go on record saying I am not a f–king pedophile. It’s disgusting that people are saying I’m a f–king pedophile because of some s—ty a– f–king jokes from six years ago on a podcast. Dawson then went on to apologize for his previous persona in which he tried to make people laugh by shocking them. Back in the day, 2008 to 2012ish, maybe 2013, that was my thing. I loved the feeling of making somebody shocked and laugh because they couldn’t believe what was coming out of my mouth. I wasn’t confident enough to make smarter jokes.
I was making the easy jokes. I was playing crazy stereotypical characters. I was doing s–t that was racially insensitive. I was doing s–t that was homophobic.