SHAWNEE, Okla. - An Oklahoma teen has been labeled a terrorist online, after a Facebook post spiraled out of control.
Blaine Bass was fired from Firelake Discount Food Store early in October, when a workplace conversation turned toward the Islamic group ISIS.
"I said how America should go over there and do something about it," said Bass. "I'm not a terrorist, I'm an American."
"He was referencing beheadings from ISIS, shooting people in the face," said James C. Collard, Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) Chief of Police. "The information we received is that he was making the other employees very uncomfortable."
Police say the comments were related to workplace violence. Keeping with protocol, they sent out a memo to the store banning Blaine from the property.
"We took the actions that we thought were prudent given the information we had," said Chief Collard.
Although the memo couldn't be seen by shoppers in the store, a co-worker snapped a photo and shared it with her Facebook world.
"My girlfriend calls me, she was crying," said Bass. "She said...you see what's on Facebook? Everyone's calling you a terrorist."
Blaine reached out to the co-worker, and the post was taken down. But the damage had been done, the original photo was shared hundreds of times, with countless shares beyond that.
Suddenly Blaine's face was displayed on Facebook walls all across the state and even the country, with hundreds calling the 18-year-old a terrorist.
"I've had people all around Oklahoma contact me, I even had family from California that told me about it," said Bass. "I've heard people whisper, calling me a terrorist."
Blaine is now receiving online death threats, and claims he's been followed home. Now he and his whole family just want everything to go back to normal.
"He won't hurt a damn fly...he's a good boy," said Glenna Whitley, Blaine's mother. "He gets threats like that, it really worries me."
When the CPN Police Department learned about the Facebook posts, they did offer Blaine extra protection around his home, which he declined.