Free Speech Does Not Protect Cyberharassment
Trolling — like the kind of exploitative abuse spewed against Zelda Williams on Twitter after her father’s death last week — is often nasty and hurtful. But it is routinely protected expression. Internet users are free to use words and images to get a rise out of others, even at their most vulnerable. In this case, two individuals tweeted photographs of dead bodies to a young woman and wrote that her deceased father would be “ashamed” of her — forcing her to quit the service altogether. These acts are offensive, disturbing and mean-spirited, and yet, they are examples of constitutionally protected speech.
Danielle K. Citron,
Free Speech Does Not Protect Cyberharassment,
The New York Times
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/shorter_works/66