Supreme Court Hears Facebook Speech Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week heard a case that tests the bounds of free speech on Internet platforms.  In Elonis v. United States, the Justices must consider whether the violent rants of a man on Facebook can be considered “true threats” to his ex-wife and an FBI agent, and, thus, not speech protected under the First Amendment.  Connected to this line of argument were questions of a “reasonable person” test, “subjective intent,” and “state of mind.”  It is unclear from this week’s proceeding how the Justices might rule, but as The Los Angeles Times noted in its report, “The case of Elonis vs. United States has drawn attention because the court’s decision could further refine the outer limits of free speech in the digital age.” 


By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: December 5, 2014


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