According To The First Amendment Of The United States Constitution,

1747 WordsApr 28, 20177 Pages
According to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the people of the nation are entitled to the freedom of speech, but not all speech is the same. The internet provides us with an infinite amount of information, grants us access to virtually everything we could want and acts as an unrestrained vehicle of communication. In the day and age where technology is advancing and social media and internet are of rising importance, the Supreme Court of the United States has been faced with the challenge of deciding what constitutes a true threat made on social media websites. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free…show more content…
In this case, the interstate commerce would be defined as the Internet. Anthony Elonis was convicted of making threats against his ex-wife, and a FBI agent and charged with five counts of violation of 18 U.S.C § 875(c), the federal anti-threat statute. Elonis had posted comments of his Facebook that were interpreted as threats towards not only his ex-wife but to other people in his life shortly after experiencing his wife leaving him and the loss of his job. During his trial, Elonis argued that his posts were a form of “artistic expression” that help him deal with the events he was experiencing in his life. The dialect that he used in some of the posts was said to address similar ideas as many popular rap songs, in a similar violent manner but Elonis insisted that they did not reflect any of his personal values or beliefs as a person. He continued to argue that although the people reading his posts might have possibly perceived them as threats, he could not be convicted of making threats because he never intended to threaten anyone. The term “threat” generally means a communication with an intent to cause fear and Elonis claims that he never intended to communicate a “true threat.” Elonis argued that the United States Government must be able to prove that there was a subjective intent to harm or injure another, in accordance to the First Amendment. This means that the government must be able to confirm and be able to provide evidence that Mr. Elonis
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