A Texas teen has spent four months in jail after posting a Facebook message in which he threatened, apparently in jest, to stage a school shooting. Such episodes show the potentially lasting and disastrous consequences of off-the-cuff comments on social media sites, especially when users forget how large their audience is, misuse a network's privacy settings or fail to take the consequences of their actions into account, Elise Hu writes. "Social media lends all users a 'public' persona, and when users try to present themselves in a way that matches how they want to be seen, this can lead to trouble," Hu writes.

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