Sandy Garossino, a former British Columbia prosecutor who has worked on dozens of cases of cyber extortion and online child pornography, is concerned about the implications of today’s industry practices and policies, not only for children but for adults. “Right now, the slightest calibrations are going to have a profound effect on the future,” she told us.
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear the case of Anthony Elonis, a man with five charges of sexual harassment, who was imprisoned after threatening to kill his wife on Facebook. Elonis insists that his Facebook posts were not real threats but protected speech. Tara Elonis, his estranged wife—possibly aware that most female murder victims are killed by intimate partners—said that there was nothing unthreatening about her husband’s Facebook posts and that they forced her to take necessary, costly precautions. “If I only knew then what I know now,” read one, “I would have smothered your ass with a pillow, dumped your body in the back seat, dropped you off in Toad Creek, and made it look like a rape and murder."