UNC media law student Brooks Fuller recently had an article published in Communication Law and Policy. The article is “The Angry Pamphleteer: True Threats, Political Speech, and Applying Watts v. United States in the Age of Twitter.”
In light of the rise of “caustic” political speech on new media, the article examines modes of analysis that lower courts use when distinguishing political speech from true threats. The article finds that the primary analysis used by lower courts is a criteria-based analysis. It argues that this type of analysis risks unduly restricting political speech when applied to new media such as Twitter. The article says, in part, “Identifying protected political speech requires careful balancing of the myriad speech interests raised when an individual chooses to vent political frustrations cathartically on a public medium such as Twitter. Careful contextual balancing avoids restricting the analytical focus to rote criteria.”
This is the citation for the article: P. Brooks Fuller, The Angry Pamphleteer: True Threats, Political Speech, and Applying Watts v. United States in the Age of Twitter, 21 Comm. L. & Pol’y 87 (2016).
Brooks is a third year media law PhD student.