Free Speech, Facebook and Gangsta Rap

Is a rap-styled Facebook threat a true threat? The Supreme Court will decide.

But will the decision be in poem form?

Photographer: Julia Schmalz/Bloomberg

Free speech doesn't permit you to make a true threat against the safety of another person. But what’s a true threat? Is it enough that a reasonable listener would consider the threat real? Or do you have to mean it? The Supreme Court has considered this First Amendment question in the past, but now it’s taking it up in the age of Facebook and gangsta rap -- and the answer may well be different to fit a different era.

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