Since the advent of social media, bullying and harassment are no longer limited to phone calls, emails, and face-to-face encounters. Now people can threaten and harass others from the comfort, and privacy, of their living room. We all know keyboard warriors who type cruel, vile things they would never say to someone’s face. But when do nasty remarks become illegal?
The Age of Cybercrime
Cybercrime, including cyberbullying and online threats, has taken center stage in recent years. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled to reverse the conviction of a man who posted lyrics about his fantasy to kill his wife on social media. Possibly in response to this decision, several states have adopted legislation to protect people from cybercrime. According to the Supreme Court, the intent is what matters. Therefore, threatening words may only be words if there is no actual intent to harm another person. Even cruel speech may be protected under the first amendment. Whether or not a threat was intentional, however, is often a matter of opinion. For this reason, it is important to obtain legal counsel if you have been charged with a cybercrime. Contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer today.