So, I just read that an Arizona House Bill passed both legislative houses and is now waiting for approval from Arizona’s governor. Sounds like basic government, right?
The interesting thing about said Bill is that it’s aim to prevent online bullying, discourage negative commenting (from trolls) on the Internet. You mean no more mean comments from those rude Arizonians (Arizonites?)?
Here’s what the statute states:
“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”
Wait a minute. Does that say “annoy” or “offend”?? I’m pretty sure almost any comment can annoy someone.
Say this bill does pass and become a law (if you’re not sure how that works, watch this video).
Then, say someone comments on my site, “You don’t know anything about volleyball,” Well, shoot, that is annoying. And offensive (I mean, I’m offended). That person could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor (about $2,500 and up to 6 months in jail)!
It seems these legislators do not understand the internet. I mean, they have a good purpose. I don’t like trolls either, but they are going about it all wrong. It’s too broad. And what about free speech?