[theintercept.com] — “Certainly, posting that kind of thing on social media is a bad thought,” professor Larry Dubin of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law told the Detroit News. “But having a bad thought isn’t necessarily a crime.”The policing of online threats is hardly a new issue. The Supreme Court set a precedent last year when it ruled that prosecutors pursuing a charge of communicating threats need to prove both that reasonable people would view the statement as a threat and that the intent was to threaten. Elonis v. United States dealt with a man who had posted violent rap lyrics about his estranged wife; the court reversed his conviction.“After Dallas, threats may seem more threatening to police officers around the country,” said Daniel Medwed, professor of law at Northeastern University. “We might be seeing more arrests right now because the police will interpret that they have probable cause to make the arrest,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean in the end that this will result in convictions,” he added.Schneier urged that law enforcement use caution. “This is complicated,” he said. “We don’t know how to do this — we’re doing it pretty badly, and we should do it better.”
Southern Poverty Law Center
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