SCOTUS To Decide If Facebook Threats Are Protected Speech
The Supreme Court is hearing a case Monday that will force it to determine if threats made on Facebook are protected by the First Amendment.By Ben Lawson | December 1, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court is looking at how the First Amendment applies to threats made on Facebook and other social media sites, where the writer's intent is not always clear.
The case starts Monday, and it involves Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man who was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for statements he made on Facebook that prosecutors say were threats, both to his estranged wife and to an FBI agent.
In October 2010, Elonis posted, "There's one way to love ya but a thousand ways to kill ya, And I'm not gonna rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts." Court documents reveal several more posts along the same lines, including one about the "most heinous school shooting ever imagined."