Student pleads guilty to threatening President Obama on Facebook

student pleads guilty to threatening president obama on facebook obamamiamidadeNote to people planning to threaten high-profile political figures: Don’t do it; there are more productive ways to exorcise your frustrations on a particular subject, I promise. Note #2 to people planning to threaten high-profile political figures: Definitely don’t do it on Facebook, because the authorities can see you do it there. If only Florida student Joaquin Amador Serrapio had thought of that second point before using the social network to ask if anyone wanted to join in an attempt on President Barack Obama earlier this year.

The 20-year-old Serrapio faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of threatening to kill or harm the President on Facebook in February of this year. According to his attorney Alan Ross, he’ll likely be given a lighter sentence as there is no evidence that he actually intended to carry out his threat, which was described by Ross as an attempt to “get a reaction from political supporters of President Obama.”

The Miami-Dade College music business student actually made two separate Facebook references to killing the President during his February visit to the Sunshine State. On February 21, he asked “”Who wants to help me assassinate Obummer while hes at UM this week?” following that status up two days later (The actual day of Obama’s visit to the Serrapio’s school) with the update “If anyones going to UM to see Obama today, get ur phones out and record. Cause at any moment im gonna put a bullet through his head and u don’t wanna miss that! Youtube!”

Following the second post, the Coral Gables police department was contacted by a concerned anonymous source. The secret service became involved and sent two agents to Serrapio’s home, where they were granted entry to search for evidence by Serrapio and his mother where they found two pellet guns, an iPad with the most recent Facebook posting on it, and a cellphone on which the youth had told a friend that he was “challenging” the secret service with his Facebook comments. Reportedly, in response to a friend’s text telling him that he could “get in trouble for sayin’ that”, Serrapio replied with a text announcing that he planned to “kill at least two of [the secret service agents] when they get here,” something which would seem to undercut the defense that the original Facebook comments were intentionally incendiary to provoke Obama supporters (To be fair to Serrapio, there’s a fine line between murdering agents and giving them access to your house to search for evidence against you. No, wait).

Serrapio also originally faced charges of threatening the agents, but prosecutor Seth Schlessinger said that they would be dropped. He faces sentencing from US district court judge Marcia Cooke on August 22.

Product Review

Google Pixelbook review

Do you want the best Chromebook money can buy? Our Google Pixelbook review examines the operating system’s new flagship, which includes 2-in-1 versatility, an active stylus, and Google Assistant.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Photography

Luminar (re)touches the sky with a simple A.I.-powered slider

Tired of making complex masks to bring out the sky in a photograph? A.I. can do some of that enhancement for you with a new A.I. Sky Enhancer inside Skylum Luminar. The tool uses A.I. to apply the adjustment to only the sky.
Social Media

These are the best ways to make an animated GIF

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Computing

Facebook’s latest data breach could earn Europeans thousands in compensation

Facebook users in Europe distressed about Facebook's revelation that its latest breach left as many as 50 million users exposed could get some compensation. Facebook also faces a class-action suit and a broader GDPR investigation.
News

Voice commands could be coming to Facebook Messenger

Thanks to digital assistants, voice controls are becoming commonplace. One day, we may even be using them in Facebook Messenger. The company has confirmed that it is currently conducting internal tests for Messenger voice commands.
Smart Home

Creepy or convenient? Facebook’s new Portal smart display follows you around the room

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Amazon Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls between FB friends. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you…
Mobile

Find love with the best LGBT dating apps for iOS and Android

If you're looking to meet someone new, look no further than your phone. Whether it's just a date, or you're looking for something a little more serious, here are the best LGBT dating apps available for Android and iOS.
Mobile

2018's 10 best dating apps to help you find the perfect companion

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

Google to shut down Google+ after exposure of 500,000 users’ data

After Facebook revealed that 50 million users may have been exposed as a result of a security vulnerability, Google announced it discovered a bug that left 500,000 Google+ users exposed. It will also shut down Google+.
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.
Social Media

Instagram says its A.I. can track down bullying in photos

Instagram is turning to artificial intelligence to help it root out bullying on its platform. Following similar efforts to target bullying in comments, the company now has systems capable of detecting bullying in photos, too.
Social Media

Snapchat is using VR to let you step inside its new original shows

Tuning in to your favorite shows not enough? Snap Originals will allow viewers to set into a virtual set. The new exclusive shows debut today with three different shows. Snap Originals are vertical, short, and exclusive to the platform.
Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.