Why there's no need to prosecute Twitter 'Sandy' troll

Not that the guy wouldn't deserve whatever punishment he got

A New York City official is urging the Manhattan district attorney to consider bringing charges against one Shashank Tripathi, who goes by the obnoxious name @comfortablysmug on Twitter and used that account to spread alarmist lies during Hurricane Sandy. Charging Tripathi would be a bad idea ... and unnecessary.

While irresponsible and just plain rotten to the core, it doesn't appear that what this fool did rises to a damage level calling for criminal prosecution. After all, if we're going to bring the force of law to bear on those who use the Internet to spread falsehoods, we might find ourselves atop the slipperiest of slippery slopes and almost certainly the most crowded.

Tripathi, who did apologize, was forced to resign his position as a political consultant. If he gets to keep his day job on Wall Street he will be lucky; if not, he will receive little sympathy.

But most of all, the same Internet that Tripathi so blithely abused during a time of crisis will make sure that what he did is not soon forgotten.

Here's a screen shot of a Google News search on his name:


And, here's Bing:


The worst the legal system could do is make him pay a fine.

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