When Is It Appropriate to Report Threats on Social Media?

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Hodgkinson wasn’t on Secret Service’s radar even though he made disparaging remarks about President Trump and Republicans on social media – did anyone think to report them?

Related Story: UPDATE: Shooter is Dead, Hospital Says Scalise Needs More Operations

The alleged Virginia shooter, James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, was a member of a number of anti-Donald Trump and anti-GOP Facebook groups.

screen shot 2017 06 14 at 11 09 56 am When Is It Appropriate to Report Threats on Social Media?

Facebook

When should authorities be called when a social media threat may be going too far?

Sergeant Shawn McGuire with St. Louis County Police says it’s best to err on the side of caution.

“I don’t want anyone trying to be detectives and trying to figure out whether or not they should contact the police,” McGuire says. “If you think it is a legitimate threat…it is way better for the police department to look into it and discredit that person.”

McGuire says anytime that users see something, social media can also be used as a tool to report it.

McGuire says police departments are monitoring social media channels much more than they have in the past – people are becoming more comfortable talking about nefarious activity online.

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