2 Mexicans Face 30 Years for 'Terror Tweets'

They're getting blamed for panic in lawless nation, say supporters
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 5, 2011 3:50 AM CDT
The profile picture of a mangled Twitter blue bird labeled a "Twitterrorista" on a Facebook page set up by Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – Two Mexicans face a possible 30 years in prison for "terror tweets," marking what could become the biggest penalty ever for a Twitter message. A math tutor and radio commentator have been charged with terrorism and sabotage after they tweeted rumors about gunmen attacking a school. Panicked parents who raced to the school were involved in 26 car accidents. The tutor repeatedly tweeted rumors he had heard, and it was picked up and retweeted by the radio commentator to her followers. "How can they possibly do this to me, for re-tweeting a message? I mean, it's 140 characters. It's not logical," she said through her attorney.

Her Facebook site now features a mangled Twitter bluebird labeled "Twitterrorista." Many in Mexico believe the possible punishment is far too harsh. Amnesty International blames the fallout from the tweets not on the two charged but on the atmosphere of crime and panic in the nation battling a mammoth drug war and lawlessness, notes AP. "There is such a lack of public safety that the public is inclined to believe unconfirmed acts of violence," said one media expert. "The government doesn't make clear what is happening."

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