Supreme Court split on free speech protections for Facebook threats

Source: 
Author: 

The Supreme Court appeared split over whether or not prosecutors need to prove that someone intends to carry out a threat posted on Facebook in order to punish them. Many of the Court’s traditional conservatives seemed to oppose the idea that people should be judged on their intentions, not just their actions, as they heard a case that could have a profound impact on communications on the Internet. The Court’s more liberal judges, meanwhile, appeared supportive of narrowing the exception to the Constitution’s right to free speech. “We’ve been loath to create more exceptions to the First Amendment,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The divide could foretell a tight ruling over whether or not a man should have received jail time for violent rap lyrics he posted on Facebook.


Supreme Court split on free speech protections for Facebook threats Chief Justice Samples Eminem in Online Threats Case (NYTimes) Supreme Court Weighs When Social-Media Threats Become Criminal Acts (WSJ) Are Facebook rants threats or free speech? Supreme Court takes up case. (CSM) Supreme Court appears unlikely to protect Facebook threats (LA Times) Justice Roberts: Rapper’s delight in court? (Politico) Dear SCOTUS: Violent "artistic" words no defense in cyber-threat case (USA Today)