The US government has started arresting people who are showing support for the so-called Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) on social media. Whether it be a Facebook status, tweet or even GIFs. If you are found showing support to the group, you could be put behind bars.
Recently, a 25-year-old Akron posted a GIF showing photographs and names of US military members. He was arrested for inciting the murder of US servicemen.
Such arrests have raised questions on freedom of expression in the US especially the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of expression for everyone in the US.
Another such incident happened when a 25-year-old boy (Terrence J. McNeil) was arrested for posting a GIF on Tumblr. Again he was accused of supporting ISIS you can view the screenshot for a detailed note on the criminal charges implied against him.
The GIF he shared had the leaked information regarding US military personnel. The information came from a hack carried out by a group controlled by Junaid Hussain.
Junaid Hussain has been involved in attacks on US military and CENTCOM last year. But, he was killed in by a drone attack, August last year. The information he leaked in his attacks was posted in the form of GIF by McNeil on Tumblr whose account is full ISIS-supporting stuff and some memes.
McNeil is also not spared by the police, a Twitter account by the handle of “Lone_Wolfe13” was also included in the complaint (PDF) launched by police against ISIS supporters. In this twitter account McNeil showed support for ISIS in these words:
“Just thinking about getting martyred puts a smile on my face,” according to NBC.
There will be lots of talking in upcoming days on these arrests and for US government answering questions from critics could be a real worry as already their policies on a different matter has been criticized badly by both the national and international media.