Lawsuit Over Two-Word Tweet Moves Forward

An anonymous reader writes: A defamation suit filed by a former Minnesota high school student has gotten approval from a federal judge to proceed. The suit was filed in response to a suspension issued by the school after Reid Sagehorn published a two-word comment on Twitter. In 2014, there existed a Twitter ostensibly about confessions from students at Sagehorn’s high school. That account asked if Sagehorn had made out with a particular female teacher, and Sagehorn jokingly replied, “Actually yes.” Not long after, he was suspended for five days, and that suspension was later extended to the rest of the month. The school administration convinced his parents to withdraw him from the school and send him to a different one. The town’s police chief even spoke about it to the media, saying the comment was likely a felony. Sagehorn filed the lawsuit seeking damages and an expungement of the disciplinary actions.

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FBI: Retweeting a Terrorist’s Tweet Could Land You In Trouble

An anonymous reader writes: Twitter has become a valuable tool for U.S. law enforcement agencies in their fight against terrorism. It’s been used as evidence in trials, it’s provided useful intelligence, and it has helped them figure out who is involved with these groups. But ACLU lawyer Lee Rowland is trying to make sure they don’t take it too far. In April, a 30-year-old man was charged with providing “material support” to the Islamic State. The FBI’s probably cause? He retweeted some of the group’s tweets. FBI director James Comey says a person’s intent is the heart of the issue: “Knowing it was wrong, you provided material support for a terrorist organization or some other offense. That is the bulwark against prosecuting someone for having an idea or having an interest. You have to manifest a criminal intent to further the aims prohibited by the statute.” Rowland points out the obvious First Amendment concerns. He adds, “… there’s also the question of intent there: repeating speech is not automatically an endorsement. … So a RT alone is certainly not an endorsement and in many situations may be a criticism of the original speaker, and that’s particularly true with terrorism, because I believe many people may believe terrorism is self-evidently immoral.”

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