The Elonis ruling: Social media, language and the Supreme Court

Listen 00:48:43

Guests: Abraham Rein and Dahlia Lithwick

Is a threat on Facebook a crime? According to The Supreme Court, not unless the person posting the message intended actual harm. On Monday, the Court overturned the conviction of Anthony Elonis, who was prosecuted for putting threatening messages on Facebook about his estranged wife, as well as law enforcement officials and local students. At his initial trial, the jury was told to consider whether or not “a reasonable person” would find the messages to be a “real threat.” Mr. Elonis’ attorneys argued that his posts were not “true threats” but therapeutic rants. We’ll talk about the case and the implications of the Court’s ruling with ABRAHAM REIN, one of the attorneys representing Anthony Elonis and DAHLIA LITHWICK who has been covering the case for Slate.

AP Photo/Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke, File

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