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Twitter Subpoenaed Over Threats to Mike Tyson Show

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The NYPD has used a subpoena to force Twitter to disclose information about the source of a tweet saying "people are gonna die" at the Broadway theater staging a one-man show by former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, the department said Tuesday.

The NYPD sought the subpoena after Twitter refused to cooperate in a probe of ominous posts that referenced the shooting deaths last month of 12 people last month at a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

Police received new information from Twitter on Tuesday "that we're using as part of our ongoing investigation," the spokesman said. He offered no further details.

A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment Tuesday.

While the department did not confirm the details regarding the nature of the threat, it did say it was taking it seriously.

The New York Post reported that a Twitter user, whose identity hasn't been disclosed, posted threats about carrying out a shooting rampage, mentioned the Longacre Theatre as a target, and referenced the deadly shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 people dead.

Browne said the police are taking the threats seriously, "especially in light of recent attacks in Wisconsin and Colorado." The department learned of the threats late Friday and contacted Twitter.  

Twitter declined to comment, referring WNYC to its guidelines, which states the social media company evaluates requests to identify users on a case-by-case basis.

“If we receive information that gives us a good faith belief that there is an emergency involving the death or serious physical injury to a person, we may provide information necessary to prevent that harm, if we have it,” the website read.

A spokesman for the Shubert Organization, which runs the Longacre Theatre, was not immediately available for comment. The theatre is currently finishing up a run of Mike Tyson’s one-man show, which ends this Sunday.

With the Associated Press

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