Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance’s comments about “misinformation.”
In a news conference Dec. 16, he said that anyone who posts misleading information online on social media sites about the Newtown case would be “investigated, statewide and federally, and prosecution will take place when people perpetrating this information are identified.”
He added: “All information relative to this case is coming from these microphones.”
It’s horrible that anyone would consider posing as 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza, try to disrupt the investigation of the murders or cause further heartbreak for the victims’ families.
But what kind of precedent does it set if the government gets to determine what is “misinformation”?
We already know what happened after Lt. Vance spoke. Social media website Facebook suspended accounts of those whose versions of the Newtown massacre did not match the government one, officially because users violated company policies but more likely to avert criminal prosecution. Facebook is a public company and can set its own user rules, but its actions are a reminder of how little it takes to diminish free speech, which is constantly under threat.