Twitter threats - any advice?

As yet, nobody has been harmed.



An unenviable position to be in. I’ve already made a conscious decision never to call the police except in extreme circumstances, and I can’t advise you otherwise.

I’m with @japhroaig on this, but one step further. Go as far as you want in investigating. It’s not like you’re going to expose their private information to others. You’re just trying to figure out who they are in order to put a stop to this mess. I agree that high schoolers should not be made into grist for the mill that is our school-to-prison-pipeline, but figure out what you are going to do if you can’t find out who they are.


I have witnessed too many bullies and criminals go free because of this excuse. Zero tolerance has a lot of things wrong with it, but protecting victims is why it was enacted, and you’re justifying protecting the adult who is terrorizing a minor instead because something bad might happen to him.

Until you’ve had to deal with a rape victim who won’t tell school authorities which student it was because she doesn’t want HIM to get in trouble, I guess you won’t realize exactly how dangerous zero tolerance really is…for the victims. But that’s exactly the lesson you’re teaching this girl. You’re grooming her for future abuse.

You say nothing has happened yet. Actually, several crimes have already been committed, and the victim is asking for help before more crimes are committed. If you were in the educational, medical, or therapy fields you would be legally required to report this. What does the guy have to do to be bad enough that you would be willing to help his victim instead of him?

BTW, if you don’t know who this guy is or where he lives, how do you know he’s 18?


You know, I am gonna walk back my recommendations a bit. I tend to be a bit too close to the meat grinder (I doxx people, and I wear a light grey hat). So you are likely right.

If a SOB is doing this, a thoughtful drop of screenshots and timestamps at appropriate LEO is likely best for the innocent parties involved.

Jebus this makes me angry. Kids do stupid things, but when they have an echo chamber it can escalate so fast.

Overshare: the best thing that ever happened to my high school bully was when he discovered weed. He apologized and was really nice after that.


Have you ever seen what too much tolerance means? Because unless the aggressor is put in a solid check, the aggressor will not learn to behave appropriately.

Can you help both of them? Why is it that bullies and the bullied would BOTH catch a break?

Which of them is counting on it? Do the world a favor, let the kid face the music.


Protecting victims had zero to do with it either in intention or practice. If anything, the tendency to elevate things like pointing your finger at someone to “play guns” with savagely beating another student insults the victim. This has a natural tendency to make people wonder if the punishment really fits the crime on a very consistent basis. When everything gets the same penalty, how do you gauge when that penalty is actually appropriate? Zero tolerance sounds good, but is really a giant shit sandwich for anyone with a modicum of decency.

I really don’t believe that it’s that clear cut once you’re involved in the situation, especially when students make casual physical threats in high schools, and there is no solid way to gauge the seriousness of such threats. It’s naive to pretend throwing teenagers in jail will stop this kind of behavior. Teenagers are not generally regarded as adults for very good reasons. I also don’t believe that because you hit an arbitrary age that it’s appropriate to hit the killswitch hard. Put another way, if it was your kid, you’d much rather deal with his problem behavior yourself and you very likely wouldn’t go straight to, “He had his chance, he’s been 18 for at least a month now.”


Well… He’s been human and unless he’s mentally disabled or has a brain injury should have known for the previous… 16 years of his life at the very least that intimidating people with threats isn’t acceptable behavior.

Whether or not he’s had poor parenting, he knows this isn’t shit that’s okay for children, so of course it’s not okay for him. He may not be thinking about it right now, but he definitely knows it’s not okay, and almost certainly is aware of what happens when a legal adult threatens a legal minor.

I knew guys in high school, back when we were 16-17 who were intimately familiar with the fact that if an 18 year old hit them, the 18 year old would go to jail, but if the 16 year old hit the 18 year old, they’d probably just get a slap on the wrist. They’d make a game of it. Because teenagers are shitty, incomplete people for the most part. But they’re not really all that stupid.


“students who make casual physical threats in high schools”… and you want the metric to be how capable they are of following through on it? Perhaps the giant wake that students who make casual physical threats in high schools leave behind them might be considered, and the utter inappropriateness of physical threats might also be considered?

Those students who make casual physical threats in high school really need to be somewhere else, not interfering with the attention of the people who are there to LEARN AND TO TEACH.

Are you making any excuses for the bullied today? Or just reminding us to have comnpassion for the poor misunderstood bully and how arbitrarily people treat them. Jesus.

It’s naive to pretend throwing teenagers in jail will stop this kind of behavior.

No. It is totally accurate to believe that throwing teenagers who make casual physical threats in high school - the fuck out of high school - will in fact end the behavior in any given high school.

Those kids will still need resources, if they can find enough humilty to accept them, but FFS, stop giving predators (yes, bullies are predators) nearly unsupervised access to minors. They turn 18 and then they DO go to jail if they haven’t learned.

It’s just not the schools job to teach basic manners to people who have learned to get ahead by not having them.


You speak as if I’ve never been there, or been subjected to it. Yes, I know. Believe it. But I’m not going to engage in ad hoc rationalization for throwing kids (yep, still the same person when they were seventeen, but for literal accident of birth) in jail.

High school is, in many places, required. Many, especially the zero-tolerance kind, have more in common with prisons than schools.

I really wonder if people know what kinds of hellholes these are in a non-academic (personal experience) sense. I think people haven’t seen it, and so don’t really believe the environment shapes the reality as much as anything else. An environment and series of impositions shaped and created by people who truly are, or at least call themselves, adults.

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You need to determine which we’re talking about. If these threats are childish then you do nothing. If they are not childish, you report them to LEO because that is their job.

You’re playing both sides of the coin here. On one hand you’re concerned for this young lady but then there’s this part where you seem to be “boys will be boys, and nobody’s actually been hurt!” I’m getting mixed messages from you with regard to how serious this is, which means you’re not clear yourself.


So I used my mad Internet skillz to find the boy’s family, as several of y’all advised, showed up at the crib and had a nice talk with his father… it went very well!

Incidentally, I also found that he’s been exaggerating his age; he won’t be 18 for another month or so.


Did the harassment/threats stop?


what did you bring with you, the mace or the flail?


@wrecksdart, she’d already blocked him on snapchat, twitter, facebook etc. However, at least one of the threats prior to blocking was “when school starts”, which is next week, so I decided to deliver my own message before then. But so far so good.

@funruly, I purposely disarmed in advance. Not even a boot knife! But I am reliably informed that I have become “scary looking” with age and I’ve been totally shameless (some would say gleefull) about exploiting that.

@SteampunkBanana, aren’t all threats childish, inherently? I dunno.


If you know who it is, print it all out and go talk to the kid’s parents. If the kid and/or parents balk on this being his twitter account, then suggest he hand his phone over to them without doing anything else to it, and log on to twitter. Explain that you’re purposely NOT going to the school and/or authorities because you want to give them – the kids and the parents – the chance to address it without the zero tolerance police. Explain if there’s one iota of further harassment, you will.


That’s exactly what I did, and his father thanked me for it, and we parted with a clear understanding. We’ll see what happens when school starts next week…


Last year my daughter casually mentioned she was going to go to the guidance counselor about these two boys who were harassing her. I didn’t think anything of it. [Edit - I asked her some questions about it, and then determined - yeah she should do exactly that ] Well … she went, and it got real serious real fast. She had warned the kids she would do exactly that, and they just mocked her for saying that. I wish I had taken the route I suggested. It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble. But … I’m proud of my kid for sticking up for herself, and also for a friend. I just wish the school could deal with things other than dialed up to 11.


Do you think it’s possible that they have been thwarted from assuming they can act in a threatening manner and get away with it in future? Because that would be a good thing.

I think people remember back to what they did at the same age and don’t want anyone who reminds them of their younger selves to get in more trouble than they did.

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If there is one thing 99% of fathers hate is when other fathers knock at their door. It isn’t perfect, it doesn’t solve everything, but as some of us say a Graduated Response imo it is appropriate.

Make sure she always has a phone and knows how to call 911. A false alarm is better than say a dead battery.

The moment, the microsecond it has been violated by even a dirty look the miscreant has proven two things:

  • no respect for his family, who objectively should have his back
  • no respect for the law

Civil suits, restraining orders, then jail in that order. Most fuckwits can be rehabilitated if they are definitively shown to be fuckwits.


If only all would stomach the therapy.