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Are Online Death Threats Protected Free Speech

Was Elonis rightfully jailed for his online postings?

  • Total voters
Dec 16, 2014
Tinyville, US
Damn medicine, I misclicked on the poll... but yes, I completely agree that he should have been jailed.

Internet death threats are a muddled territory. Hell, anything said on the internet is muddled territory when it comes down to it.

I used to listen to some things with pretty violent lyrics. Still do a little bit. ICP, Eminem, etc. But what that was wasn't rap lyrics. I mean, I can sort of see if it were an actual, published song using that excuse but even then there is a limit on how much someone can post things like that and get away with it. Especially if you aren't just posting it on a place of your own (i.e. your own Facebook page without tagging or mentioning names versus posting it on someone else's page).


Jan 13, 2016
Actually, I do believe that death threats and the like are protected under free speech up to a point.

It's the internet, that kind of shit happens all the time. What that trial is arguing and what you're arguing are kind of completely different things altogether.

In the case of actual online death threats in regards to people you don't know on the internet (So just randomly sending messages to some random asshole you don't like) there IS an ignore function in most social networking that would allow you to block them. I figure that is protected under free speech until they start to become personal, and a person begins to fear for their life.

In this case, what you're arguing is a person who know the person in question personally, who had a relationship with her sending her death threats that were so explicitly violent that she actually feared for her life, and she did in fact do the correct thing, which was to get the police involved. In regards to all online harassment of this nature, getting the police involved is the right thing to do.

I think one of the only statements I read that wasn't necessarily a death threat (But was still distasteful anyways) was “Tell [their son] he should dress up as
matricide for Halloween. I don’t know what his costume would entail though. Maybe [Tara Elonis’s] head on a stick?”. That being said, just about everything else in the case was clear harassment.

Honestly, I don't know the details of their separation, but it clearly disturbed the man mentally and he certainly reacted in an entirely disgusting way overall.

Back to the the original point I was trying to make, conflating this with "Online Death Threats" is a little much. A better example of a purely "Online Death Threat" would be the apparent hordes of such that Zoe Quinn, and Anita Sarkeesian get. Those are the only two examples I can think of, for some reason.

Also, sorry for raising this thread from it's motherfuckin' grave, buuuttt I got bored and decided to post to this.
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