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Trolls to be punished with fines and jail time in Arizona

Currently sitting upon the desk belonging to Arizona’s governor is a revised house bill that is waiting to be signed into law. Changes made to the house bill, H.B 2549s, aim to minimise yet also potentially criminalise cyberbullying. However, it could also make every online game, every comment section and every chat room a  place of illegal behaviour –  if you are unfortunate enough to be in the state of Arizona.

Coming soon to an Arizonan court near you?

The changes made to the house bill would mean just about every sensitive, annoying or offensive online comment illegal in Arizona. For those who haven’t quite caught on yet: if you live in Arizona and consider yourself an internet troll you could be found guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor; punishable by up to a $250,000 fine and 6 months in jail.

Realising the real word risks of such a bill the Media Coalition has sent a formal request the way of Jan Brewer, Arizona’s governor. This request asks Brewer to veto the bill and is summed up nicely by

“There is no requirement that the recipient or subject of the speech actually feel offended, annoyed or scared.  Nor does the legislation make clear that the communication must be intended to offend or annoy the reader, the subject or even any specific person.”

Kitguru says: If this legislation does get passed I feel sorry for anyone living in Arizona.

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