As social media threats continue to spiral out of control, an increased number of celebrities have received threats on social networks in the past year. Most recently, after the departure of Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, news broke that Sue Perkins may be his replacement. Shortly thereafter, she faced a barrage of threats on Twitter.
We are excited to announce that our company’s Founder and CEO, Aaron Schoenberger, was interviewed by Dan Damon of the BBC regarding threats aimed at Sue Perkins. The interview lasted approximately three minutes and was syndicated throughout the world.
Additionally, The Guardian wrote a piece on the same topic, titled “Sue Perkins, Zayn Malik, Tony Hall: how did death threats become so casual?,” in which Mr. Schoenberger was quoted. Please find an excerpt below:
However, Aaron Schoenberger, CEO of Beverly Hills-based social-media threat-assessment company Soteria, can offer some insight. “Gathering data and painting a picture of who they really are is critical,” he says. “For example, if someone makes a death threat on Twitter against Sue Perkins or Tony Hall and just so happens to be fascinated with guns, the chances of them carrying out an attack go up based on their activity and interest. Additionally, if a potential threat is identified and the post was geotagged near Sue or Tony’s homes, the threat level rises immediately. These are the types of factors we use to gauge seriousness and help law enforcement agencies.
“As a rule of thumb, I believe every threat should be taken seriously and reported to authorities. Once reported, law-enforcement agencies must take an empirical approach to threat assessment and prioritise threats based on the data. No threat should go unreported, and the most credible threats should be investigated immediately.”
Schoenberger cites the case of Ismaiiyl Brinsley, who shot two NYPD officers dead in December 2012, as an example of the need for improved monitoring of social media sites to prevent murders. Brinsley had boasted on Instagram that he would take the lives of two policemen hours before shooting them. It has since emerged that Brinsley had already been arrested 19 times for offences including concealing a weapon, and disorderly conduct. He had also threatened to hang himself, and had been disowned by his mother and two sisters for being violent and aggressive.