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Justices weigh limits of free speech over Internet

2 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Sunday, November 30 2014 Nov 30, 2014 November 30, 2014 9:28 AM November 30, 2014 in News
Source: Associated Press
By: SAM HANANEL

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is examining the limits of free speech over the Internet in a case involving the use of violent or threatening language on Facebook.

The justices will hear arguments Monday.

At issue is the case of a Pennsylvania man who was convicted of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to threaten another person.

He says he never intended to harm anyone when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent.

The government says the true test of a threat is whether his words made reasonable people feel threatened.

A federal appeals court rejected the man's claim that the comments were protected speech under the First Amendment.

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