Alyssa Douglas, 16, a student at Clinton-Massie High School in Clarksville about 40\miles east and north of Cincinnati Tweeted on Thursday, "Someone needs to assassinate Obama ... like ASAP." The Tweet was sent out within hours of the President;s convention speech mid afternoon. This statement launched an investigation by both the local authorities and the Secret Service, along with the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio. Within hours of the Tweet, bloggers and other Tweeters began questioning whether her motives had standing and whether it was an act of Free Speech. Regardless, by Friday, Douglas was identified as a Hate Crime and Political Extremist across Cyber Space.
Naturally, the Secret Service believed the threat to be factual and a high level of threat. If convicted, Douglas could be fined and sentenced up to 5-years in prison for threats against the President.
Pre-Internet Age, it was common for certain words over a phone line to alert the Secret Service and FBI. Some of these words included, Kill, Bomb, Explosives, Assassinate...especially when used with a political figure in the same conversation. Any type of threats against the president will jumpstart the Secret Service into action (see attached video for similar incident).