Online, What Constitutes a Real Threat
Attorney David Allen describes a case in which the question is whether an online rant constitutes a threat. A man going through a divorce, Anthony Elonis, posted statements about his wife on Facebook. In part he wrote, "I'm not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all of the cuts. Hurry up and die…" When charged with a terrorist threat he argued it was not a "true threat" because he, as a reasonable speaker, would not foresee it being interpreted as a threat. The prosecutor argued an "objective standard" applied. If someone else could view but objectively as a threat it was a real threat. US Supreme Court will make the final decision in this case.