Supreme Court Weighs If Online Death Threats Protected by Free Speech



The US Supreme Court will consider a groundbreaking case Monday about whether death threats posted on Facebook are liable to prosecution or whether threatening comments are protected by constitutional rights to free speech.

It will be the first time the top court’s nine justice — who are not known to have Facebook accounts of their own — will consider the limits of First Amendment protections on free speech on social media.

The case involves Anthony Elonis, a rap music enthusiast who posted angry lyrics on his Facebook page aimed at his wife after she took their two children.

The case could have repercussions on violence and harassment on the Internet and how the First Amendment — which protects freedom of speech — applies in the realm of social media.

The Supreme Court will decide whether Elonis’s comments constitute a “true threat,” or were harmless because he did not intend to act on his words, as he argued.

Read more at AFP.

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