Supreme Court says intent matters in Facebook threat case

The Supreme Court has issued its opinion on a high-profile online threat case, reversing a lower court’s judgment against a man who posted violent messages on Facebook. But while it’s clearly guiding the debate, the Supreme Court steered clear of discussing when exactly protected speech becomes an unprotected threat — a difficult question that’s become especially important over the past year.

The court has reversed the decision against Anthony Elonis, who was previously found guilty of four counts of transmitting threats. After his wife left him, Elonis wrote a series of Facebook posts fantasizing about killing her and others. He claimed that the posts, made in the style of free-form rap lyrics, were therapeutic and a form of…

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Author: Adi Robertson

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