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Thread: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by CMPancake View Post
    This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't instances for the FBI and other Law Enforcement agencies that track the Internet. When do you as a Police Officer act when someone makes a threat to kill someone else over the internet? Do we act before hand and trample on the First Amendment right for someone to say "There's one way to love you but a thousand ways to kill you. I'm not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts." When he admits it was a bone headed thing to say, or do we ignore posts like these and as a result a murder happens that could have been prevented.

    It's tough to gauge and even tougher to decide on where we draw the line on Government agencies spying on Facebook and Twitter posts. I don't believe in censorship, yet at the same time if we have the ability to deter something as horrific as a murder shouldn't we use it? Personally, I don't know where to stand on the issue.
    Agreed. Ask a woman who has experienced genuine, bona fide stalking how she feels that in order for police to do anything about somebody threatening her, they have to wait for the stalker to do something to her first.

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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Context. Those lyrics at some unnamed individual are not threats. Aimed at an individual, they could very well be under the law. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, [b]except/b] when there really is a fire. Same word, but in two different situations, different liability. Context is always important.

    In this case I don't to my mind think the context is enough to make those words actual threats, but just because they are actual song lyrics does not impact on my reasoning.
    A social site doesn't confer some sort of magical get-out-of-jail card for all types of communication either.

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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Context. Those lyrics at some unnamed individual are not threats. Aimed at an individual, they could very well be under the law. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, [b]except/b] when there really is a fire. Same word, but in two different situations, different liability. Context is always important.

    In this case I don't to my mind think the context is enough to make those words actual threats, but just because they are actual song lyrics does not impact on my reasoning.
    How is what anyone posts on the internet determined to be "aimed" at one person? There must be far more to this case than facebook postings under an assumed (made up?) ID.
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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    What if the person making the questionable statements in not even within the confines of the US?
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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueWarrior View Post
    What if the person making the questionable statements in not even within the confines of the US?
    If the person isn't in the US, I guess that's up to the severity of the threat and the US's relations with the country that person is in. I don't know, and it's a good question.

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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    How is what anyone posts on the internet determined to be "aimed" at one person? There must be far more to this case than facebook postings under an assumed (made up?) ID.
    There is more to the case. He was fired from his job at an amusement park for posting a photoshop image of his holding a knife to the neck of a female employee there who had accused him of sexual harassment at work. AS I understand it, he made it clear who he was referring to, though I have not seen the postings or know all the details.
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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueWarrior View Post
    What if the person making the questionable statements in not even within the confines of the US?
    Even using the standard used in this case, that an average person would reasonably assume it is a threat, it would make it much harder to show it as a threat since the person is at a significant distance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    I think the ruling will end up with something like Citizens United. If you have money, you will get the faster lane on the internet. After all, corporations is people, folks.
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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Not sure what you all think of this, but my personal feeling is that the authorities should stay the hell out of monitoring what people say on mediums like Facebook unless they have some kind of specific threat to follow up...As much as I disagree with bullies, and thugs on the internet, I must defend their right to free speech because someday it may be extended further down in ugly ways...Thoughts?
    Why should the medium matter? Are threatening words posted on the internet any different from the same words sent via mail, spoken over the phone, or delivered in person?

    Unless, of course, you take Marshall McLuhan's words to heart.
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    Re: Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Why should the medium matter? Are threatening words posted on the internet any different from the same words sent via mail, spoken over the phone, or delivered in person?

    Unless, of course, you take Marshall McLuhan's words to heart.
    The medium isn't at issue in the case. The issue before SCOTUS is whether intent is required for something to be a threat. The medium kinda matters in that it provides context(yelling "I am going to kill you" to some one's face is more threatening than posting it on facebook kinda thing), and that the laws he was specifically charged with breaking involved making threats over interstate commerce communications(ie, the internets). The only question SCOTUS is looking at is the intent question.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    Uh oh Megyn...your vagina witchcraft is about ready to be exposed.

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