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PSA ‘Think Before You Post’ by the FBI Chicago Warns About the Risk of Posting Threats on Social Media

Fri September 22 2017 5:29 am
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The FBI Chicago Field Office has produced a PSA that warns social media users to strongly consider the ramifications and consequences of their messages before they are posted.

In a moment of anger on November 28, 2015, Jabari R. Dean, then 21 years-old threatened a mass shooting at the University of Chicago in the comments section of a segment from the 1995 movie Panther directed by Mario Van Peebles. The screenplay and film released in May 1995, alleges that various criminal mob networks aligned with the United States intelligence community, mainly the FBI and CIA, to corrupt inner-city ghettos with heroin and cocaine, and spawned a drug epidemic. A video segment of the movie and the comments thread were posted on the website World Star HipHop. Dean quickly deleted the comment, but a New York teenager took a screenshot of the threat and notified police.

“This is my only warning. At 10 a.m. on Monday mourning(sic), I am going to the campus quad of the University of Chicago. I will be armed with an M-4 Carbine and 2 Desert Eagles all fully loaded. I will execute approximately 16 white males students and or staff, which is the same number of time McDonald was killed. I then will die killing any number of white policemen in the process. This is not a joke. I am to do my part to rid the world of white devils. I expect you to do the same.”

— Deleted threat by Jabari R. Dean

In an abundance of caution, the University of Chicago announced on Sunday November 29, 2015 that classes and other campus activities would be canceled on Monday November 30, 2015 — the scheduled return to school after the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes and activities were scheduled to resume on December 1, 2015.

The FBI traced the threat to electrical engineering student Jabari R. Dean and arrested him on a federal charge of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce by Monday afternoon, November 30, 2015. The FBI found no weapons in a Chicago South Side home he shared with his mother. The FBI determined Dean never intended to carry out the threat, and decided against prosecution on certain conditions.

Think Before You Post PSA (FBI Chicago)
The FBI Chicago Field Office released a PSA on their official YouTube channel on Thursday September 21, 2017 that warns social media users to strongly consider the ramifications and consequences of their messages before posting those messages.

Jabari Dean posted the online threat November 30, 2015, about a week after the court-ordered release of a video showing Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teen Laquan McDonald, who was hit or shot at 16 times; and two days before Jason Van Dyke’s family posted The police-involved shooting sparked citywide protests and escalated tensions between the Chicago Police Department and the African-American community.

In the summer of 2016, prosecutors agreed to drop charges against Jabari Dean if he completed 100 hours of community service. The agreement included a requirement to speak about his experience, and the condition that he stay out of trouble.

In the FBI’s Chicago headquarters Thursday, September 21, 2017, Jabari R. Dean sat next to special agent in charge Michael Anderson with the release of the PSA video, and spoke publicly for the first time about the fake threat incident and warned others not to make the same mistake.

“I search my name on the web almost every day and look at the stuff,” Dean said in the video. “It’s not going away. Think before you post.”

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University of Chicago closed over online threat (CNN, Nov. 30 2015).


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