Social Media Newsfeed: Supreme Court to Hear Facebook Threats Case | Twitter’s ‘Dronies’

Supreme Court decides to hear case on threats made on Facebook. Twitter is using "dronies" to shoot and post Vine videos at the Cannes festival. These stories, and more, in today's Morning Social Media Newsfeed.

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NewFacebookLogoSupreme Court to Hear Case on Facebook Threats (USA Today)
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider a classic free speech conundrum for the 21st century: When do threatening comments made on social media sites such as Facebook cross the line into criminal activity? Two lower federal courts ruled that Anthony Elonis crossed that line in 2010 when he mused on his Facebook page about killing his wife and others, including an FBI agent who was investigating his actions. MSNBC Elonis’s statements – styled as rap lyrics he likened to rapper Eminem’s – included killing his ex-wife, shooting up a kindergarten, blowing up the local sheriff’s office and attacking a waterpark he had just been fired from for allegedly threatening and sexually harassing a woman colleague, according to court documents. After a visit from the FBI, who had been alerted to the messages by his ex-wife, Tara Elonis, Anthony Elonis posted lyrics fantasizing about killing a woman FBI agent who had visited his home. Forbes According to court files, the worst thing Elonis did in real life was to harass co-workers at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, where he used to work as a supervisor and technician; he took off his shirt in one co-worker’s office and made “a minor female employee uncomfortable when he placed himself close to her and told her to stick out her tongue.” After a Halloween scare night at the park, he posted a photo of him holding a fake knife up to a co-worker’s throat, with the caption, “I wish.” Slate The case deals with an area of First Amendment law known as “true threats.” These kinds of threats are unprotected under the First Amendment. The trick is figuring out whether Elonis’ speech was a true threat or not. The Hill The court’s ruling could settle the legally murky domain of website comments and blog posts, and could have a significant impact on how people use in the Internet in years to come. “This is an important question because individuals increasingly face prosecution for alleged threats conveyed on new media, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter,” three free speech organizations wrote in a petition urging the court to take up the case. “If context really is a key variable in determining the point at which speech loses First Amendment protection … then lower courts urgently need this Court’s guidance on how the context of online social media affects the true threats analysis.”

Twitter’s New ‘Dronies’ Take Selfies To New Heights (AllTwitter)
Twitter is taking the selfie phenomenon to new heights with its “Dronie” account – an unmanned aerial vehicle that is flying around Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, taking sky-high videos of the celebrities in attendance. The Dronie is flying around the festival with a camera strapped to its underside, taking strategically-timed, six-second Vine videos zooming out from celebrities and other festival attendees.

World Cup Fans Create User-Generated Opportunity for Marketers [Infographic] (SocialTimes)
The World Cup got into full swing with the opening group stages this weekend, and social media has been buzzing since before the matches began. An infographic from social media marketing firm Offerpop used data from social media monitoring firm Crimson Hexagon to demonstrate the opportunity to optimize user-generated content.

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Facebook iPad App Update Focused on Trending Topics and Videos, Games (AllFacebook)
Facebook announced an update for its iPad application, in which a new column was added on the right-hand side of News Feed, which includes birthdays, events and four new sections aimed at promoting engagement with trending topics, videos and games. The four new sections were described in a post on the Facebook developer blog by software engineer Victor Medeiros.