The Supreme Court is deliberating whether abusive online behavior, including death threats, should be categorized as criminal activity or protected under freedom of speech.

In light of the case of Anthony Elonis, a man convicted in 2011 of multiple counts of online threats, including murdering his wife, the US Supreme Court will weigh in on how online threats of violence should be handled by the legal system. The decision will include determining whether subjective and objective intents should be redefined in cases involving online abuse or threats.

How do you feel about this?

Should online threats of violence or abuse be treated differently depending on the commenter’s state of mind at the time of writing?

Did convicting Anthony Elison for his graphic Facebook threats compromise his right to freedom of speech?

Is the use of a friendly ‘emoticon’ or smiley face icon enough to demonstrate that a violent comment is not serious?

When do abusive comments made online cross the line between a meaningless joke and a threat of real danger?

If Elison had not been convicted for posting graphic and threatening Facebook comments in 2011, would the legal system be failing those he threatened?

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