Man Gets 5-Year Social Media Ban After 6-Month Stint in Jail over Tumblr Post

    August 21, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

A Georgia man has been sentenced to time served, probation, and given an all-out 5-year social media ban after pleading guilty to making terroristic threats via his Tumblr blog.

20-year-old Caleb Jamaal Clemmons has spent the past 6 months in jail, having been unable to afford his $20,000 bond. He’ll be credited with that time and given 5 years probation, during which he’ll be banned from four counties and barred from posting to any form of social media – all because of one post he made on Tumblr this past February:

hello. my name is irenigg and i plan on shooting up georgia southern. pass this around to see the affect it has. to see if i get arrested.

Clemmons was a former student at the university. His “plan” worked, as he was arrested just a few hours after he made the post. University police credit an anonymous tipster who alerted them to the troubling Tumblr post via email. Police searched Clemmons’ residence and found no evidence to suggest that he was planning on actually harming anyone at the school.

But Clemmons languished in jail, unable to make bail. His story sparked a petition on change.org, where his supporters argued that it was just a joke made on a “literary/satire/activist blog,” and that Clemmons had absolutely no intention of shooting anybody.

“Caleb has stated multiple times throughout his Tumblr and Facebook that his blog was an experimental literary piece and an art project for a character named Ryan Lang he created. He went out of his way entertain his followers and friends with uncanny jokes as well as complex philosophical ideas. He has addressed this openly and personally upon receiving questioning of his posts,” read the petition.

“Caleb Clemmons is not a terrorist. Throughout this process, Caleb has been very honest, patience, and compliant; in spite of this, this sweet young man has been absolutely traumatized over this horrific ordeal. He’s located in an overcrowded, underfunded prison filled with racists. He was punched in the face and verbally and physically assaulted on multiple occasions over his skin pigmentation. He has been sent to solitary confinement due to the actions of others.”

Although Clemmons is now out of jail, he’ll have to complete mental health classes in order to suspend his time at a probation center. And of course, there’s that 5-year social media ban.

Clemmons isn’t the only young man to fake charges of making terroristic threats online. In May, a YouTube rapper was arrested and charged after posting “fuck a boston bombinb wait til u see the shit I do, I’ma be famous for rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me” on his Facebook page.

Although he claimed it was simply “rap braggadocio,” the teen was held for over a month without bail. The DA’s office finally dropped the charges back in June.

[Stateboro Herald via The Verge]
  • Reality

    Is it just me but I think finding real terrorists would be pretty easy to do. It is pretty obvious that this kid is not a terrorist.

    But this is Georgia. One in every thirteen people in Georgia are in jail, on parole, or on probation. 1 in every 13. This isn’t some made up internet statistic either. It is straight from the Atlanta Journal. You can look it up yourself.

    Georgia makes a lot of money off of sending people to prison. Lots of it.

  • Yah

    The land of the free

  • Tyler

    You can’t fight terror anymore than you can fight fear. This kid wouldn’t have been arrested if he was white or at least had a whiter name. NSA! NSA! Erm, I mean, USA! USA!

    Anonymous tipster doesn’t mean government employee.

    • Reality

      I don’t think race had a part in this. It is just total BS. There have been white guys arrested for the same things. To me, I just think it is pretty easy to know who is a terrorist.

      I will say this though: Georgia is a very bad state to live in. 1 in 13 people in jail, on parole, or probation is awful. The national average is 1 in 31, which is not good either. So, the question is why is Georgia incarcerating at a rate 2.5 times higher than any other state?

      Answer: Georgia makes a lot of money off of fines, fees, and bond. They also operate 23 industrial plants using prison labor. They do not pay the prison labor and require other state agencies to buy from them. So money a person pays for say, parks, actually moves into the prison system.

      It is corruption plain and simple.