ESPN.com Commenter Held on $1 Million Bail

I think we all know that the comments sections on most websites can be like the Wild Wild West. Most of the time they’re unregulated, and even when they do have moderators, unless each comment has to be manually approved before it appears, it’s nearly impossible for the moderators to catch even some of the worst offenses.

ESPN.com is pretty well-known for having a comment section that Deadspin calls a “‘cesspool’ and ‘wretched hive of scum and villainy’ and ‘somehow even worse than Yahoo’s comment section,'” but very even among the worst, nothing tops Yale graduate Eric Yee who was arrested today for his comments about LeBron James’ new shoes, allegedly saying something along the lines (the actual comment has been taken down) that he would shoot the kids who wear them. He even mentioned that he could see children from where he was, and that he had no problem killing them. Wow.

A moderator over at ESPN.com (Deadspin says,”they do exist!”) happened to see this comment and call the cops, who traced Yee to Valencia, California where his home had a view of—yes—a school, two in fact! And—yes—he had guns!

Yee is now being held on $1 million bail.

 

What do you think of Eric Lee’s arrest and high bail? How seriously do you think threats Internet trolls should be taken? How does this differ from the case of Anita Sarkeesian who dealt daily with public threats of rape and murder?

Do you think Eric Lee was serious about his threats, or is this another case where someone uses the comments sections to say things they would never say in real life? Are comments like these perhaps a cry for help from someone who is struggling?

How do you think authorities should handle these situations?

 

Image of gavel and keyboard courtesy of Shutterstock

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About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is the type of working mom who opens her car door and junk spills out all over the ground. She serves as Executive Editor of The Good Men Project and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites like xoJane, hlntv.com, and The Huffington Post. Joanna loves playing with her sons, skateboarding with her husband, and hanging out with friends. Her dream is to someday finish her almost-done novel and get some sleep. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.

Comments

  1. A million dollars bail for that and radfemhub still exists? Dafuq?

  2. John Anderson says:

    In theory, the setting of bail is to ensure that a person attends their trial. I’m not familiar with the details of the case, but suspect that the high bail was to keep him off the streets until trial or until they could determine whether he was an actual threat. If that is the case then the setting of the high bail wasn’t right, but it was the right thing to do.

  3. First his bail has been cut to $100,000 as of a hearing Yesterday – 19 Sept. Link To LA Times

    How do you think authorities should handle these situations?

    Very Seriously!

    There are very real issues with most serious threats being made on-line and being lost in the morass of data (No-one is quite sure of just how much data is being shifted daily, but it is estimated to be in excess of 1 exabyte or 1 with at least 18 zeros after it), and so catching some lunatics is not just dealing with a needle in a haystack – it’s dealing with one needle in 1 million haystacks.

    Of course – the person at ESPN.com just saw one message and called the Police?( Heavy Irony – 10 to the 18th factorial)

    Not likely – they did look at the message – the persons messaging history – their net presence in general – even their social profile and pics …. and then made a judgement call! I know that Moderators ( Or As I Prefer to see then Network Angels) get a bad press and generally have to stay Stumb – but in my experience most are quite intelligent, rational and even sane people who make Judgement calls that do have some value!

    … and as I am informed – since Yee is in California, he is caught under statutes which make it illegal to issue such threats, even if he does not intend to carry then out. It’s also reported that he was at Yale – a member of a leadership program – and apparently described by his own attorney as “Felony Stupid” (One Does Wonder At Representation).

    Yee claims he was paraphrasing American Psycho! … what a pity his net literacy levels didn’t extend to the use of Quotation Marks, hyper-links and even smilies so that his ideas and ironic view of shooting kids was made clear!

    Yale evidently aint what it used to be. P^)

    And I do wonder just how many threats against “Adults” are made daily – and get ignored? Just the issuing of threats and cyber predation has been linked to incidence of PTSD (50%) which is as high or higher than Returning Vets from theatres of war. You don’t have to pull a trigger to cause real and lasting damage!

  4. Have online threats against feminists been reported to the police, with no response? Yee wouldn’t have been arrested if someone hadn’t reported him in the first place.

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