Arizona Politician Parodied By Fake Twitter Accounts Pushes Bill To Make Online Impersonation A Felony
from the be-careful-who-you-parody dept
Of course, as the CMLP article notes, you have to wonder if Ugenti proposed this bill for personal reasons -- seeing as there are some parody twitter accounts for her, specifically @RubbingUGently and @RepMUgenti. It seems that Rep. Ugenti got some attention for snapping at a bunch of students, who would be charged $2,000 more (regardless of their financial aid setup) to attend university in the state, "welcome to life," and for making a hacky masturbation joke during committee hearings. If you want, the quip is at 2:14:30, and involves another committee member asking how long the hearings are going to run, and saying that he has "a hot date" that he wants to get to, leading her to say: "No you don't. Stop it. Your right hand doesn't count." All clearly overheard on microphone.
Would those parody accounts be subject to this new law? CMLP suggests they would likely be protected under the First Amendment, but of course, it could involve a long and convoluted trial to prove that point. Just the threat of jail time could create serious chilling effects on parody speech. As for Rep. Ugenti being concerned about fake Twitter and Facebook profiles, perhaps she should take her own advice: "welcome to life."