Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening Senator’s Life In Parler Posts
People often seem to think of social media as a separate universe from the ‘real world,’ where they hide behind anonymous usernames and fake profile pics, and can say anything they like, without fear of ‘real world’ repercussions. The past year has provided a lot of evidence to the contrary.
In truth, what happens on social media does have effects on the offline world, and consequences earned digitally also apply in the flesh, as the past year has so aptly demonstrated. A sitting President of the United States used social media to fire up his angry fans, who in turn used a far-right ‘free speech’ social media site, Parler, to plot an attack on the United States. Now he has no social media, and hundreds of those fans are facing charges.
Meanwhile, one Parler users posts caught attention for another reason. He didn’t just pontificate about the overthrow of the U.S. Government, but also posted threats on the life of Raphael Warnock, who had just won his Senate race in Georgia. According to the New York Times, Eduard Florea posted that Warnock would “have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the [expletive] fish,” along with boasts about his intent of “definitely slicing a throat” in D.C. on January 6th.
“Dead men can’t pass [expletive] laws,” he warned.
The Washington Post notes that Florea is among the many who posted such rhetoric on social media but didn’t actually travel to the Capital on January 6th. However, his posts earned him a visit from federal agents, who raided his basement apartment on January 12 and found more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition (which Florea couldn’t legally have due to a prior weapons conviction), as well as swords, combat knives and even hatchets.
He has pled guilty both to transmitting threats and to possession of ammunition after conviction of a felony.