Comparably, of a violent and threatening nature. The posts

Comparably, the United States has had multiple instances where freedom of speech and expression legislations have been challenged inside the courtroom, proving the United States is more lenient when determining convictions. To begin, Elonis .v US, a 2014 case, where Anthony Douglas Elonis went onto the social media site Facebook and proceeded to post self-styled rap lyrics of a violent and threatening nature. The posts contained violent images and words aimed at Mr. Elonis’ ex-wife, a kindergarten class, co-workers, state and law enforcement. Elonis was convicted under a federal threat statue, the first time the court raised implications of free speech on social media. When appealed, Mr. Elonis argued that by being convicted his First Amendment right was being violated, the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) ruled in favour of Anthony Elonis. SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts wrote “Our holding makes clear that negligence is not sufficient to support a conviction,” the court said that it was not enough to convict the man based solely on the idea that a reasonable person would consider his posts threats. This case in particular is an example that the broad legislation the United States has protects offenders like Mr. Elonis who was emotionally damaged and took to Facebook to vent his anger after his wife’s departure. Similarly, Packingham v. North Carolina is another case that raises issues when discussing the United States’ legislations and how they protect true offenders. Lester Packingham Jr. is a repeat sex offender who in 2010 was banned from Facebook, after the state of North Carolina banned sex offenders from using a vast majority of the internet. Packingham decided to fight back, arguing that this ban violated his First Amendment rights, in that he should be able to use and express himself via the internet. The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that Mr. Packingham’s complaint was right. Justice Anthony Kennedy stating “Foreclosing access to social media altogether thus prevents users from engaging in the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights, (….) Even convicted criminals—and in some instances especially convicted criminals—might receive legitimate benefits from these means for access to the world of ideas, particularly if they seek to reform and to pursue lawful and rewarding lives.” This case in itself, proves that the United States has issues with relation to their First Amendment rights. In Packingham’s case, he is now allowed to use the internet where multiple young people flock, posing a threat to internet users. It is true that the United States does need a form of limitation clause, to help regulate legal freedom issues such as these. In conclusion, the internet is an open forum for speech and articulation where members of the public flock, to not only express themselves but to access the expression of others. After examining current freedom of speech legislations, social sites, public views and cases from both Canada and the United States,  it can be proven that Canada is superior with regards to freedom of speech on the internet. Although the United States protects both viewers and users of the internet, it’s current legislations are subject to reforms or improvement. Unlike Canada, the US does not have a limitations clause meaning that perpetrators being prosecuted abuse the First Amendment rights given. With several social media sites and websites, allowing access of millions of individuals around the world there is always potential for hate speech, criminal behaviour and negative expression to occur. But, a nation’s priority to help regulate and prosecute violent activity on the internet is necessary. With current policies under review, both the United States and Canada are working to protect all from possible issues occurring on the internet.