Abuse victim advocate questions SCOTUS ruling on social media th - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Abuse victim advocate questions SCOTUS ruling on social media threat liability

The high court ruled social media threats are not a crime unless the subject intends to carry out those threats. (Source: WAFF) The high court ruled social media threats are not a crime unless the subject intends to carry out those threats. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A domestic violence victims' advocate slammed a new Supreme Court ruling on Facebook threats, saying the decision puts abuse victims at risk. 

The Supreme Court held it is not a crime to post threatening social media messages if the user doesn't intend what they mean.

MORE: Supreme Court throws out conviction for Facebook threats

Bill Faris from Crisis Services of North Alabama said social media threats and domestic violence go hand-in-hand. 

Faris talks to victims every day who have been barraged by social media threats from spouses and other abusers. That's why he's having a tough time understanding why seven of the nine Supreme Court justices held a user must intend what he or she posts for a social media threat to become a crime.

"It's not just punches and choking and that kind of stuff," Faris said. "These threats are damaging and hurtful in and of itself. I'm concerned about the Supreme Court's ruling." 

Decatur attorney Greg Reeves reviewed the Supreme Court's decision and said the justices are tip-toeing a fine line between social media threats and free speech. 

"As long as I can say that I was saying these things for therapy, or I write rap music, then it seems like the court has pretty much opened the door," said Reeves. "I'm not saying I have the answers. But I'm saying this certainly opens the door for threats to be published online."

If you know someone who is being threatened or are being threatened on social media yourself, then you are encouraged to seek help. You can do so by clicking here: http://www.csna.org/

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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