Earlier this week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that will examine a modern take on an old argument about free speech. As a result, the Court is going to be reading a lot of nasty Facebook comments.
In 2010, two lower federal courts ruled that Anthony Elonis' crossed a line when he made Facebook posts about killing his wife, school children, and FBI agents. He was convicted of making threats against others and served three years in prison.
Elonis' attorneys are arguing that his posts did not imply that he would go through with the acts he described, and that prosecutors must prove that he intended the comments to be threatening. It is up to the Supreme Court to determine exactly how threatening his posts were and if such statements should be allowed under the law.
In the petition filed by Elonis' legal team, the threatening comments were outlined at length. Below are just some of specific comments which the Supreme Court will be investigating.
Please note that these comments are violent and graphic in nature:
After Elonis was fired from his job, he posted this update and tagged his coworker in it.
After his estranged wife obtained a Protection from Abuse order, he wrote this post. It is an adaption of a "Whitest Kids U' Know" sketch, where he threatens his wife a number of times.