Congress Not Yet Willing To Outlaw Being A Jerk Online

from the that-whole-free-speech-thing dept

In the wake of the whole Megan Meier/Lori Drew thing, politicians started shoving each other aside to introduce “anti-cyber bullying legislation” that would outlaw being a jerk. The whole thing was pretty ridiculous. People are going to be jerks. You can’t outlaw it. Beyond just the First Amendment issue, the simple fact is some people will act like jerks some of the time. It happens. It doesn’t mean that it’s good, but that also doesn’t mean that you can just outlaw it. Of course, seeing as this is the type of legislation that politicians like to claim is “to protect the children” and gets them in the press, there’s always a chance that laws like this get some momentum. Thankfully, it looks like our Congressional Reps. at least recognize what a dumb idea this is. While Rep. Linda Sanchez insists that such a law is needed, it appears that other politicians are not very interested, pointing out the First Amendment issues, as well as the unintended consequences of making such a vague concept a criminal offense.

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Comments on “Congress Not Yet Willing To Outlaw Being A Jerk Online”

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slackr (profile) says:

Do any of the numbskulls who propose this sort of stuff actually spend more time than the nanosecond knee jerk to think it through?

For people who want to stop trolls and name calling idiots on the internet, they have a funny way of doing the same thing through a different medium.
“Haha you can’t call me names anymore I changed the law and it says you can’t nyah-nyah-nyah-na-nyah”

Fake Steve Colbert (user link) says:

Will it be a late lunch or early dinner?

Did you say something? I was so busy eating a burrito that I ordered with my iPhone.


So good. Mmmmm.

You know, Nation, I love burritos. And burritos love the iPhone. So by the transitive quality, if you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t love burritos.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Will it be a late lunch or early dinner?

“You know, Nation, I love burritos. And burritos love the iPhone. So by the transitive quality, if you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t love burritos.”

Fair enough, but will an iPhone also, by the transitive quality, turn my backside into an engaged firehose the way a burrito does?

Some Anonymous Jerk says:

Good thing, too. If they did this, the internet would cease to exist.

Where else do you not have to cache everything you say in Politically Correct terms? Where else can you call a moron a moron and reduce his ego to the whimpering puddle of puke it should be?

The internet is a haven from allusion, subtlety, inuendo and implication. A place where anyone can speak their mind without having to run it through the “PC” filter first.

Now, kindly get the hell off my internet, you ignorant dweebs. 😉

Little Red says:


Have you ever heard of the cyberbully/slander court case of Patrick Zidon vs. Linda Pickrell? Well, do a google search! This woman who formed a romantic relationship (1x was the charm) with a very upstanding married man in North Dakota being scorned put up a website with pictures of this man and his family. She intended to ruin his work and moral standing in his community. If you like to see the site go to the wayback machine. Unfortunately, for all the pain and suffering he went through he only could settle out of court for less than $8,000. If you like to read more go to her website at Cyberbully laws ought to been passed back in the early ’80s. Oh and she is a psychic and if you read her blogs, her psychic skills ought to have told her this was illegal and cruel.

Rose M. Welch says:

Re: cyberbullies

What you’re describing falls under harassment laws that are already on the books. It’s like passing a law against talking on your cell while driving. They already have one. It’s ‘failure to devote full time and attention’. How are these news laws going to work any better than the exact same one that we already have in place? (The answer is that these ‘new’ laws are only being touted for political advertisement purposes, and the pols advertising them know that they are useless.)

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