The Supreme Court is about to hear a landmark online threats case

A person with their  hand hovering over the Like button on Facebook.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

In 2014, a Colorado singer-songwriter accepted a seemingly innocuous friend request on Facebook. This morning, nearly a decade later, the Supreme Court will hear a case about the fallout — and it might redefine what’s legal to say online.

Attorneys will present arguments today in Counterman v. Colorado, a closely watched case about the boundaries of unlawful “true threats.” The case’s petitioner, Billy Raymond Counterman, claims that he was convicted of stalking based on an overly broad definition of a threat. He argues that a series of Facebook messages weren’t intended to cause distress and shouldn’t be legally actionable. On the other side, the state of Colorado argues it should be sufficient for a reasonable person to find these…

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