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Case of 8,000 Menacing Posts Tests Limits of Twitter Speech

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posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:38 AM
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This is an interesting article regarding cyberstalking, freedom of speech and the First Amendment. Where do you think the line should be drawn, if at all?



Even the Buddha of compassion might have been distressed to be on the receiving end of the diatribes that William Lawrence Cassidy is accused of posting on Twitter. They certainly rattled Alyce Zeoli, a Buddhist leader based in Maryland. Using an ever-changing series of pseudonyms, the authorities say, Mr. Cassidy published thousands of Twitter posts about Ms. Zeoli. Some were weird horror-movie descriptions of what would befall her; others were more along these lines: “Do the world a favor and go kill yourself. P.S. Have a nice day.” Those relentless tweets landed Mr. Cassidy in jail on charges of online stalking and placed him at the center of an unusual federal case that asks the question: Is posting a public message on Twitter akin to speaking from an old-fashioned soapbox, or can it also be regarded as a means of direct personal communication, like a letter or phone call?


Stalking?




posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:40 AM
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While I am a firm supporter of freedom of speech I believe this man was harrassing this woman, just as someone constantly calling me on the phone after I have told them to stop calling me. It is infringing on the womans ability to life, liberty and happiness.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by Perplexedandconfused
 
Agreed.

I'd say this definitely crosses the line from free speech to actual intimidation/stalking/harassment, as fits best. Say what you want and be done, or discuss the person, fine...but when it's an ongoing serious of communications with pretty specific intent, whether or not it's in a public forum, I think it's fairly straightforward that it's not just free speech anymore.

Looking forward to everyone else's thoughts on this one, I think it could be an interesting debate from some.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 12:55 AM
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This doesn't really sound like a first amendment issue at all since it's one individual harassing another. Already plenty of laws about this type of behavior.



posted on Aug, 28 2011 @ 11:39 PM
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I think one has to examine the conduct involved with this incident, not just the speech. It would be like constantly getting in someone's face and saying things to them and they have no way that they can remove themselves from you unless they hide in a locked closet. People should have the ability to speak as they wish but others should have the freedom to move about and proceed with their lives unrestricted.



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