The 19-year-old former Indiana State University student who posted a false threat on a social media site will not face jail time.
Rashon Marshall-Bowen posted a threat on the app Yik-Yak in September 2014 referring to a “potential campus shooting” on ISU’s campus.
When the threat was discovered to be a hoax, Marshall-Bowen was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of harassment. She was later dismissed from the university.
Marshall-Bowen could have faced up to 180 days in jail for the false threat, but she instead received a deferred sentence. She must now successfully complete probation, meaning she has to complete 40 hours of community service and not get arrested, WTHI reports.
Threats—false or otherwise—haven’t been uncommon to the location-based app where users can see anonymous messages posted within a certain area.
As The Guardian reports, Yik-Yak has become a popular social media fixture on college campuses, but it’s also come under fire.
Yik Yak has come in for a lot of criticism for being a breeding ground for rumour and bullying – and more serious content. Myriad threats of violence, sex crimes and hate crimes have been reported, including a mass shooting threat and the circulation of a sex tape. It wouldn’t be unfair to say it has gained a reputation for being a scourge among parents.
A University of Georgia student was also charged earlier this year with four felony counts of making terrorist threats after he allegedly posted a threat of mass violence on the app in 2014. Those charges could still be dropped if the student completes a pretrial diversion program.
Marshall-Bowen, however, will re-appear in court in September.