CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, May 4, 2015

Baniel-Stark on Punishing Threats on Social Media

Alessandra Baniel-Stark has posted Comment: Elonis, True Threats, and the Ontology of Facebook (New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy Quorum, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: 

Elonis v. United States, argued before the Supreme Court in December 2014, raises the question of the applicable standard for determining whether speech is a true threat. Of particular interest in Elonis is how the Court will interpret appellant's speech, which took place on Facebook and often took the form of quoted rap lyrics. This Comment argues that, despite changes the Internet has wrought in how speech is delivered, the appropriate standard for determining whether speech is a true threat is an objective one, as such a standard best addresses the concerns that gave rise to the true threats exception. This Comment further discusses some of the challenges courts have faced in properly conceiving of rap music and urges that a particular view of rap not be enshrined as a matter of Supreme Court jurisprudence.

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