About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

15 First Amend. L. Rev. 497 (2016-2017)
Twitter in the Age of Terrorism: Can a Retweet Constitute a True Threat

handle is hein.journals/falr15 and id is 519 raw text is: 


                         Taylor Spencer*


       The   communication landscape in recent years has
drastically expanded  and changed  to include new   mediums   of
communication,   and that growth is illustrated in the proliferation
of social media  platforms  like Twitter. Since its inception in
2006,1 Twitter has grown   to boast 313 million  monthly  active
users, with seventy-nine percent of those users holding accounts
outside the United  States.2 The reach and influence of Twitter,
along with other social media  sites, is tremendous, and has had
both positive and negative consequences  for the world at large.
       One   area in which  Twitter has  created an  unforeseen
impact  is through the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's (ISIS)
use of the platform as a radicalization and recruitment tool. ISIS
has  been  a designated  Foreign  Terrorist Organization   since
2004.3 Users across the world are able to spread ISIS's message
through  social media, contributing to the proliferation of lone
wolf' terrorist attacks carried out on behalf of the organization.4
Safya Roe  Yassin, an American-born   Muslim   woman   living in
Missouri,  is one  such  American   who   has been   accused  of
supporting  ISIS through  her  Twitter and  other  social media
accounts. ' Yassin  retweeted  multiple  statements  supporting
ISIS, resulting in her arrest for what the prosecution describes as

* Taylor Spencer is a student at University of North Carolina, School of Law and
aStaff Member on First Amendment Law Review.
1 Twitter Turns Six, TWITTER (Mar. 21, 2012), https://blog.twitter.com/2012/twitter-
2 Twitter Usage/Company Facts, TWITTER, https://about.twitter.com/company (last
visited Sept. 19, 2016).
3 Bureau of Counterterrorism, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, U.S. DEP'T OF ST.,
http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm (last visited Sept. 20, 2016).
4 Katie Worth, Lone WolfAttacks Are Becoming More Common-And More Deadly,
FRONTLINE (July 14, 2016), http://w .bsorg/wgbh/frontline/article/lone-wolf
attacks-are~becomin-more-_common-andmore-dead1 '(Al Qaeda- and ISIS-
inspired lone wolf attacks in the U.S. numbered 20 so far this decade, up from eight
in the 2000s .... ).
5 Nicole Hong, ISIS RetweetArrest Raises Free Speech Issues, WALL ST. J. (Aug. 12,
2016), http://www.wsj.com/articles/isis-retweet-arrest-raises-free-speech-issues-

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most