[Ads-l] Post on Facebook, go directly to jail

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Thu Dec 4 18:27:56 UTC 2014

This is off-topic for a linguistic discussion but of interest nevertheless.
I will now try to help the judges decide whether what sounds like a blood-curdling threat
on Facebook is really a threat or perhaps something more innocuous: If someone
issued this seemingly blood-curdling threat against YOU (the judge) would you take
it seriously or dismiss it as harmless?

Gerald Cohen

Message from Garson O'Toole [adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM]


The message I received looked like gobbledygook. Below is the relevant
link together with an excerpt, I think.


Article: Post on Facebook, go directly to jail?
Author: Dennis Baron
Date: Dec 3, 2014 4:00 pm

[Begin excerpt]
Can a Facebook post land you in jail? When is a threat a threat, and
when is it just good, clean fun, or even art? If you write a song
about killing your spouse, but you haven't killed them, at least not
yet, will the First Amendment protect you from prosecution? These are
some of the questions that the U.S. Supreme Court considers as it
decides the case of Elonis v. United States.
[End excerpt]

On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM, Baron, Dennis E <debaron at illinois.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Baron, Dennis E" <debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU>
> Subject:      Post on Facebook, go directly to jail
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> VGhlcmXigJlzIGEgbmV3IHBvc3Qgb24gdGhlIFdlYiBvZiBMYW5ndWFnZTogUG9zdCBvbiBGYWNl
> Ym9vaywgZ28gZGlyZWN0bHkgdG8gamFpbA0KDQpDYW4gYSBGYWNlYm9vayBwb3N0IGxhbmQgeW91
> Z29vZCwgY2xlYW4gZnVuLCBvciBldmVuIGFydD8gSWYgeW91IHdyaXRlIGEgc29uZyBhYm91dCBr
> aWxsaW5nIHlvdXIgc3BvdXNlLCBidXQgeW91IGhhdmVu4oCZdCBraWxsZWQgdGhlbSwgYXQgbGVh
> c3Qgbm90IHlldCwgd2lsbCB0aGUgRmlyc3QgQW1lbmRtZW50IHByb3RlY3QgeW91IGZyb20gcHJv
> c2VjdXRpb24/IFRoZXNlIGFyZSBzb21lIG9mIHRoZSBxdWVzdGlvbnMgdGhhdCB0aGUgVS5TLiBT
> LiBVbml0ZWQgU3RhdGVzLg0KDQpSZWFkIHRoZSBmdWxsIHBvc3Qgb24gdGhlIFdlYiBvZiBMYW5n
> dWFnZToNCg0KaHR0cDovL2JpdC5seS8xdzNQeUtBDQoNCg0KDQotLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0t
> aWFsZWN0IFNvY2lldHkgLSBodHRwOi8vd3d3LmFtZXJpY2FuZGlhbGVjdC5vcmcNCg==

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list