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In what it says is a move to help parents in educating their children not to make decisions that will otherwise jeopardize their future, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation warns students not to post hoax threats on their social media accounts. The FBI said that this is a serious crime with serious repercussions when students are caught.

“The FBI takes these threats very seriously whether they come in the form of text messages, social media posts, or emails,” said the FBI.

“Law enforcement – whether the FBI or our local and state partners – will respond to each threat to determine which are real and which are hoaxes.”

Through its recently launched “Think Before Your Post” campaign, the FBI issued the warning to students who are into posting malicious threats not only on their social media accounts but also through emails, or text messages.

According to the FBI, they treat all threats they found seriously no matter what their forms are. The FBI also said that the FBI and their local and state partners will respond to all threats to determine which are true and which are not.

Underlining what it says is the seriousness of making hoax threats, the FBI said that these threats are considered a federal crime. As such, those who are found guilty of sending hoax threats can be jailed for up to five years in federal prison. Those found guilty may also be charged at the state or local levels.

From the Bureau:

“Imagine a student with a grievance. Maybe she’s mad at a classmate. Maybe he didn’t study for a test and thinks that causing a disruption at the school will get him out of taking it. It can be easy to say things you don’t really mean – or post things that you don’t really intend to follow through on.

This kind of online behavior can and does happen all the time – but in the aftermath of mass casualty attacks, we often see an increase in hoax threats made to schools or other public places. The FBI takes these threats very seriously whether they come in the form of text messages, social media posts or emails. Law enforcement – whether the FBI or our local and state partners – will respond to each threat to determine which are real and which are hoaxes.

The FBI’s #ThinkBeforeYouPost campaign is designed to help schools and parents educate students before they make a poor choice that could impact them for years to come. Please share with your kids and those in your community that making a threat is a federal crime. Those who post or send these threats can receive up to five years in federal prison, or they can face state or local charges.”

Additionally, the FBI said that hoax threats impedes law enforcers from investigating real crimes as these hoax threats redirect their enforcement resources from handling real crimes to hoax threats.

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