Skip to comments.Arizona Wants to Outlaw Trolling by Banning 'Annoying' Comments
Posted on 04/05/2012 4:43:25 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
It doesn't take much for online comments to quickly get out of hand, and there are certain subjects that inevitably attract trolls ready to defend their stance or platform of choice. PC (Windows) versus Mac, AMD versus Intel, politics, religion, abortion, and other high octane subjects could all be fun to debate, but almost always quickly end up derailed by name calling and other Internet tough-guy nonsense. The solution? Most sites just drop the ban hammer if someone gets too far out of line, but the state of Arizona has written a bill that would essentially make it a crime to be a troll.
A bi-partisan bill would make it a criminal offense to post online comments that could be construed as "annoying" or "offensive," according to the Associated Press. Think about that for a second, and then go view your Facebook page or Twitter feed to see if any of your friends or family posted anything annoying.
Rep. Vic Williams defends the bill as a way to "protect people from one-on-one harassment." Supporters of the bill agree with Williams and are hoping for more favorable outcomes in court cases that involve digital stalking and harassment that have otherwise been dismissed in court because current laws lag behind advances in technology.
Needless to say, not everyone agrees.
"Speaking to annoy or offend is not a crime," David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition, told AP.
Tucson Republican Rep. Tim Vogt said there will be updates to the bill to reflect certain concerns. He also points out that the bill isn't intended to stifle free speech, but as currently written, even talking smack about someone's sports team could land a commenter in hot water, if the bill were to pass.
When does he go to jail?
“A bi-partisan bill would make it a criminal offense to post online comments that could be construed as “annoying” or “offensive””.
I find this suggestion for such a bi-partisan bill to be both annoying and offensive.
Question: If you get paid to promote propaganda on the MSM - is it FREE SPEECH??
Before the advent of broadcasting, the Associated Press acclimated America to the ridiculous conceit that someone claiming to be objective should be taken seriously.Membership in the AP means you can never be attacked for tendentiousness by another journalist without being defended by the AP and its membership. So in that sense there isnt free speech in journalism in any medium. The AP was found to be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act back in 1945, but back then the APs mission of transmitting the news while conserving communication bandwidth seemed to make it too big to fail. Now, of course, bandwidth is dirt cheap, so that mission is obsolete - and the idea that the newspapers are in their rights to openly collude against the public is on pretty shaky ground.
I eagerly look forward to the day when Associated Press journalism steps on the wrong toes and the AP and all its members get sued jointly and severally. I hope George Zimmerman will get wind of the idea, and take Big Journalism to the cleaners.
There is no such thing as free speech in broadcasting - in the sense that there is no way to license free speech, but all broadcasters are licensed. IMHO that is also a scandal.
This article makes me wanna troll Arizona websites.... can they enforce this on out of state residents?? lol
There is nothing in the Constitution that gives more free speech rights to the “press” than anyone else.
In some states there are already cyber-bullying laws, which IMO place unconstitutional restrictions on speech.
“Rep. Vic Williams”.
Good grief, he’s a Republican! What the heck is wrong with him?
If enacted, this would be a serious competitor for the law that was found unconstitutional in the shortest amount of time.
Hmmmm, what if I find the word “zot” offensive?
I know, me too.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.
I QUESTION YOUR HERITAGE AND YOUR MOTHER’S FIDELITY AND YOUR GENERAL INTELLIGENCE.
Sorry, had to get one more in while it’s still legal.
...the original slayer of trolls.
“Who decides who is annoying?”
That said,I find this bill annoying.
Seems to me the legislators behind this are an existential threat to freedom and need to resign immediately.
These idiot legislators are annoying me. Ban them before they ban free speech.