You remember Martin Shkreli, right? He’s the guy who founded Turing Pharmaceuticals, and then acquired the only marketing rights in the U.S. to pyrimethamine (a drug used by, among others, HIV patients), marketed in the U.S. as Daraprim, boosting the price by 5500% per dose. Well, he wasn’t convicted for doing that, but he was convicted for securities fraud, and has been out on bail while awaiting sentencing. Except, a post that he made on Facebook just got him sent to jail. For a post he made on social media. Let’s repeat that – someone is going to jail for a post they made on Facebook. Here’s what Martin Shkreli’s Facebook post said:
“The Clinton Foundation is willing to KILL to protect its secrets. Son on HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her. I must confirm the sequences I have. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton. Payment after the sequence matches. Good luck, patrollers*.”
(*No relation to our Internet Patrollers, who are good guys – in fact the Guardian Angels+ of the Internet.)
(+You remember the Guardian Angels, right? Founded by Curtis Sliwa in 1979, they were a citizens group patrolling the mean streets of New York City, helping fellow citizens.)
Folks, we can’t count the number of times we’ve cautioned you that public posts, posted publicly on social media are, well, public. And can get you in trouble. The Internet, and indeed The Internet Patrol, abound with examples of people getting into trouble because of something they posted on social media – perhaps one of the most notorious examples being the Weiner weiner post.
Now, you may be wondering what exactly about that Facebook post a judge found so offensive that it caused Mr. Shkreli to go to jail – go directly to jail – and not pass go?
The judge in the Federal court in which the hearing about the Facebook post was held found that Mr. Shkreli attempting to incite someone to grab Ms. Clinton’s hair was “a solicitation to assault in exchange for money.”
In fact, specifically, the judge said that “That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment.”
Anyways, Martin Shkreli was due to be sentenced in January, and would likely have remained a free man through the holidays, and until his January 16 sentencing date.
Now he’ll be spending all of the fall and winter holidays in jail.
All because of a Facebook post.