by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 1st 2009 1:38pm
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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