SCOTUS mulls whether Facebook threats are protected by First Amendment


ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Court will determine whether angry online rants are free speech.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Court will determine whether angry online rants are free speech.

Federal law makes it a crime to transmit via the phone or Internet “any threat to injure” another person. And the Supreme Court has said “true threats” are not protected as speech under the First Amendment.

But it is not clear whether prosecutors must prove that an angry-sounding Facebook poster intended to make a threat, or instead whether it is good enough to show that a reasonable person would read the words as threatening violence.

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