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Supreme Court will decide whether Facebook death threats are legal

The First Amendment is one of the major cornerstones of American life. Not many days go by where you don't hear the phrase "free speech" mentioned somewhere.

Of course, we know that "free speech" doesn't cover everything. As the old example goes, you can't shout "fire" in a crowded theater. Serious death threats or speech that puts other people in danger can also get you in trouble.

However, the big question in the digital age is how that applies online. In the past the government has cracked down on people making airplane bomb jokes before flying. It's hard to convey tone and context in writing, and when it comes to people's lives the government chooses to err on the side of caution.

Now the Supreme Court is diving into the topic of personal threats in Elonis v. United States. The verdict could change what people can and can't post online, and even how sites like Facebook work.

Let me give you the background.

Next page: The background and how the case might play out
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