The Elonis case and online harassment: Victims’ rights, freedom of speech issues, and more


Guests: Danielle Citron and Jonathan Manes

On Monday, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in the U.S. v. Elonis case. Anthony Elonis, a Lehigh Valley resident, was convicted and spent more than three years in prison for making illegal threats on Facebook toward his wife after she left him. At issue in the case is whether or not his speech is protected by the First Amendment and if he made “true threats.” The ruling in the case will have huge ramifications for both the rights of threat victims and free speech on the web. Where do we draw the line between a criminal threat and free speech? In this hour of Radio Times, University of Maryland law professor DANIELLE CITRON discusses her new book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, the Elonis case, the rights of victims of online harassment, and more. We’ll also hear from JONATHAN MANES of the Yale Law School Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression about free speech issues and censorship.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal