We’ve all heard the phrase “the internet is forever.” That’s certainly true. Once you put something out there, it’s out there for good. But other things are forever, too, like screenshots and social media histories.
In the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old former police cadet currently charged with first degree murder (among other felonies) for shooting a trio of attackers during the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, they haven’t gotten much just yet from his social media.
The mainstream media’s enjoying tagging him as a “police admirer” and waxing poetic about his Back the Blue posts on his Facebook page. Oh, how terrible. He supports law enforcement? The scandal.
If the worst thing the MSM can say about your Facebook page is that you support law enforcement, you’ve done something right. If they can’t dig up old BoogBoi posts, “f*** around and find out” memes, or anything else potentially derogatory or incriminating, that’s a good thing.
Just how much does your social media presence matter as a gun owner? It matters a great deal more than many people realize or care to admit.
All too often gun owners fail to considerable the possible repercussions of their online behavior. Just this morning there was a guy on a friend’s Facebook post saying he didn’t understand why Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t shoot one of his attackers in the head twice rather than shooting him in the bicep because, the commenter said, that’s what he would have done.
Sound innocent? It’s not. Someday a prosecutor could have a field day with it. Don’t be that guy.
You are not John Wayne. This is not a movie. This is real life. Not only do your actions have consequences, but so do the words and images you post online. Think you’re safe because you have a troll account or deleted an old account? Nope. It can all be found and traced right back to you. And will be if you ever find yourself in a jam.
Yes, it’s annoying to have to weigh every meme you post or comment you make for how inflammatory or damning it might one day be, but it’s the smart thing to do. It’s frustrating that even sarcasm can be so easily twisted against you. But wouldn’t you rather bite your tongue now than have social media comments and posts condemn you later? What’s the marginal utility of posting that cutting comment now if it may come back to haunt you later?
A good rule of thumb to follow is to post, text, and email like it will one day be read out loud in court to a judge and jury. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but don’t be a blatant idiot.
Now, in the age of COVID-19 lockdowns, restrictions and a crazy amount of looting and rioting, things are at a tipping point. There’s a ludicrous amount of posturing, swagger, and “wish a motherf***** would” going on out there on social media platforms.
Throttle it back, guys. Stop and consider what this could do to you one day. Stop and imagine “one day” might be a lot sooner than you think.
Say it with me: everything is discoverable. It doesn’t matter if you made a problematic comment last week or seven years ago. Once it’s out there, it’s out there and discoverable. If you’re ever involved in a self-defense shooting, you can bet all of your social media will be mined for something — anything — that can be used against you.
Is yours clean?