DAVE & DUJANOVIC

What is law enforcement’s role in monitoring social media posts?

May 8, 2023, 8:30 PM

social media posts...

FILE - The Twitter application is seen on a digital device, April 25, 2022, in San Diego. An alleged gunman who killed eight in Texas left behind alarming social media posts. should law enforcement have seen this tragedy coming?(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Eight people were killed during a shooting at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas over the weekend. National Media is reporting the alleged gunman left a steady stream of hundreds of violent and alarming social media posts. With so many posts, should law enforcement have seen this tragedy coming?

Retired FBI Special Agent Greg Rogers joins Dave and Dujanovic co-hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic. He joins the show to explain what law enforcement officers can do legally to catch these digital red flags.

Does the first amendment protect social media posts?

Beginning the conversation, Dujanovic asks Rogers about how to distinguish between digital red flags and somebody’s first amendment right to post on social media.

“It’s a tricky issue. Before it becomes any kind of federal offense or an offense in most states, you have to make an actual threat,” Rogers tells Dujanovic and Noriega. “So, someone can get online and say horrific things that are, you know, racist and offensive. But, those [posts] are protected … if and until they actually make a threat, it’s not a criminal violation.”

According to Rogers, this doesn’t mean law enforcement can’t do anything. However, it does make things much more complicated, as law enforcement can’t arrest someone for being offensive online.

“All you can do is interview them,” he says. “If you interview them or if you go to talk to them, they can say they don’t want to talk to you and that’s as far as that goes.”

In order for law enforcement to take action, Rogers says a social media post has to be a “pretty direct threat.”

“You have to actually specifically say you intend to do something, for it to satisfy the statute and indicate that you were going to do something,” he says.

Listen to the full segment below.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Related: Investigators reveal more details about the gunman who killed 8 people at a Texas mall — including possible right-wing extremism

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

UTA Frontrunner commuter rail. UTA Plans to address delays by updating cars and adding a new line t...

Curt Gresseth

UTA boss talks about train delays, says improvements coming

Despite frustrating delays, UTA has a 90 percent "on-time" record, says the executive officer.

12 hours ago

social media...

Curt Gresseth and Don Brinkerhoff

Senate committee OK changes to Utah’s Social Media Regulations Act

A Utah lawmaker discusses his social media bill aimed to protect children while parents and a teen testify about loss of a son to suicide and the pain of addiction.

5 days ago

The IRS is writing checks for smaller tax refunds this year, but a Utah expert says it's still earl...

Curt Gresseth

Tax refunds are about 30% smaller than last year — but it’s early

The IRS is writing checks for smaller tax refunds this year, but it's still early in the tax season.

7 days ago

secret spending...

Curt Gresseth

Are you hiding secret spending from your spouse?

Are you a secret spender in a relationship? A national expert on personal finance offers help for couples caught up in financial infidelity.

9 days ago

Utah's First Lady Abby Cox will host the second annual Show up for Teachers Conference on Wednesday...

Curt Gresseth

Governor encouraging couples to check out virtual date night — tonight

The governor and first lady invite Utah couples to enjoy the fun of a virtual date night while learning how to make a marriage grow strong over time.

12 days ago

A Cuban woman and her daughter wait in line to be escorted to a Border Patrol van for processing in...

Curt Gresseth

Rep. Moore explains his ‘no’ vote on Mayorkas impeachment

Utah Republican Rep. Blake Moore explains why he switched his yes vote to no during the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

What is law enforcement’s role in monitoring social media posts?