How many people have threatened to kill their boss in a moment of stress? It's not a credible threat.
If it was done in a similar manner to much of the harassment being discussed, you'd be leaving threatening notes in their cube/office or on their voice mail.
You'd be out pretty quick, or arrested.
If my kid threatens your kid with the power of the One Ring, do you take that seriously (that was just last month, remember)?
Of course not, because the One Ring isn't real and he's a kid. Mentally stunted manchildren who think it's funny to send death threats don't get that exception because it's completely different.
Most threats ever made are not credible, they're merely a stress blow-off. Credible threats rarely take the form of anonymous, over-the-top trolling.
Graphic, targeted descriptions of rape and threats of violence and/or death aren't in the same league ash what you described. Stop apologizing or attempting to minimize the acts of sociopaths.
If a reasonable person would find a threat credible, that justifies further investigation, but the speech is still entirely protected.
I don't think that point has been in contest here - my point is that it's stupid to say "you shouldn't take it seriously" when it's impossible to discern between idle threats and credible ones when assholes get creepy detailed.
But, of course, its your first amendment right to make people's lives a living hell and terrorize them with threats. It's your right to be a miserable piece of shit who sees fit to send people messages describing them in detail, and the horrible things they'd like to do. And we shouldn't ever, ever do anything about it.
Unless there's an overt act to turn the words into criminal conspiracy, the speech should be protected.
Indeed, people should just turn a blind eye to vile harassment all day long. No one needs to worry until it's obviously too late.
And maybe you should be less afraid of the world.
Indeed, that guy threatening to rape and murder your kid because he hates you for some reason? Just ignore him. Don't be so afraid of targeted threats of death or rape. Because it's your fault that you're terrorized, not their fault for being sociopathic.