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Trolling in AZ
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Last comment by JimmyMack 2 years, 3 months ago.

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Under a updated law, if someone is found guilty of trolling under Arizona House Bill 2549, they could face a $2500 fine and up to six months in jail. "It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use 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." Big Brother or a needed law to protect individuals on the internet. You decide.

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/04/04/dont-be-an-internet-troll-you-could-be-sent-to-jail/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=status+message&utm_campaign=naked+security


Latest Activity: Apr 04, 2012 at 9:45 AM


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sebekm commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Yes - it is a "Brave New World." My hunch is that this one might go up the line and be overturned, but I appaud them for testing the waters.

I especially like the advice here:

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/...

We've discussed the two main tactics: ignore or report. The bottom line is that internet trolling ain't no joke. It is interesting that the Brits are sending them to JAIL "for leaving hurtful messages on Facebook and YouTube." And the perp communicated those messagers "despite never even having met" the victim.

Sound familiar?

LibertyDrum commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Whats also interesting is the the terms "annoy or offend" are never defined. Rather, like many other laws, they are left subjective, for obvious reasons.

Iknowyou commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I believe that's a very good idea and other states should follow.

Doesn't this make politicians illegal in Arizona? They commonly use electronic devices to sling mud at each other, especially around election time on TV.
And most people find those ADs extremely annoying.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 12:36 PM

"Whats also interesting is the the terms "annoy or offend" are never defined."

Yes - the onus should be on the one bringing the complaint to demonstrate that the comments are annoying or offensive. But to define the terms only gives ammunition to the potential offenders as to how to craft their "offensive" or "annoying" comments so as to elude responsibility for them. You have to leave those definitions open to interpretation in order to have some teeth in the law.

Iknowyou commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 12:51 PM

If people would teach their kids to whip the crap out of bullies instead of buying into the "zero tolerance" policies that schools have for fighting this would be a non-issue.

Iknowyou commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Every single time someone has gotten picked on or bullied on the internet, it was self warranted.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 13:29 PM

"If people would teach their kids to whip the crap out of bullies instead of buying into the "zero tolerance" policies that schools have for fighting this would be a non-issue."

Unfortunately, we live in a new, PC world, where children sue their parents for "whip(ping) the crap out of" THEM, and the schools are more likely to discipline the retaliator than they are the instigator.

Same story down through the ages: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. After they repeat it enough, they "discover" a "new" way to deal with the problem (which just happens to be the old, "historical" way).

This situation parallels a comment as a wise (now) old mentor of mine once said after some instructional materials he and I had created FROM SCRATCH was recycled years later by our second generation replacements, who were then taking credit for our work as if they had developed it on their own:

"There isn't any new material...there's just new authors."

LibertyDrum commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 13:43 PM

"Yes - the onus should be on the one bringing the complaint to demonstrate that the comments are annoying or offensive. But to define the terms only gives ammunition to the potential offenders as to how to craft their "offensive" or "annoying" comments so as to elude responsibility for them. You have to leave those definitions open to interpretation in order to have some teeth in the law."

True, but how could the average person know where the line is drawn, if it's never drawn in the first place?

I would assume you'd like to know if your about to commit a crime BEFORE you do so, and not after the fact.

Iknowyou commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 14:27 PM

If you wouldn't say it to someone's face then don't do it on the internet.

golfnut31316 commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 14:33 PM

To answer the question, it's "big brother". More over sight by a government that is way out of control and too big.

I suppose if you spent the time and searched, there probably already laws on the books for this.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 16:36 PM

"True, but how could the average person know where the line is drawn, if it's never drawn in the first place."

They used to call it "common sense." Now you could measure it as: "Would you want that comment directed toward YOU?" It's the old "treat people the way you would like to be treated" rule.

Most people want to be treated FAIRLY - another word is NICELY. I still think the legal definition of "pornography" or "obscenity" is largely "we know it when we see it." It's the old "community standards" rule.

So you need to leave the definition somewhat vague in order to allow for "community standards" and what is acceptable for the times.

The law was obviously crafted to let the judges sort it out, but my hunch is that they will apply what THEY believe to be "common-sense" and "community" standards prior to any convictions.

Translation? Online - it's always better to "play nice."

up2sumptin commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 16:50 PM

It is always better to play nice, both online and in the real world but does playing nice online really need to be regulated? I'd be more concern with playing nice in the real world than in the cyber world. Trolls, in my opinion, are generally harmless as long as you have a healthy since of self worth. There is nothing that says you must engage one. I find if ignored (REAALY IGNORED) then they will try and find another victim. They want the attention they are missing in real life and like children, bad attention is better than no attention at all. So except for the rare case, we are able to self police the trolls ourselves without government interference. And as I beleive the government over reaches into our private lifes already, why give them even more power. What is next? The thought police?

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 17:40 PM

"....but does playing nice online really need to be regulated?"

Apparently the people in AZ think so. The "innocent" parties only have the terrifiers, the intimidators, the threateners, the harassers, the annoyers, and the offenders to blame (if they want to blame anybody) for the additional regulation.

That's what the people STILL don't get. The issue is not just "trolling in AZ." It's the way our society has "progressed" to its current state. Most of the time, additional regulations are a response to people NOT having "common sense," NOT being good neighbors, and NOT treating others or their property with respect. We used to teach this at home and the most successful parents - IMHO - reminded their children of these concepts with an iron fist when necessary.

Now our society wants "anything goes" and to "put anything we want into our bodies" and thinks that "free speech" ought to be the ability to say ANYTHING to ANYBODY at ANY TIME for ANY REASON. And let's allow the kids sue the parents for setting standards and enforcing them using corporal or psychological punishment. Well - guess what (on the latter)? If you can't enforce with corporal or psychological punishment you have removed the stick. Who REALLY thinks that kids will obey and learn respect if only given the carrot? DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Add it all up, and one outcome is fines and jail time for "trolling in AZ."

LibertyDrum commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 08:03 AM

On a positive note, this isn't the first (or last) time we've seen this type of thing. In fact, this was anticipated by our Founders, hence why they created the judicial branch as a "check" on the legislative.
They can pass any kind of law they want, but if it’s against the Constitution, its void – or at least that was the intention.

Once someone "annoys" someone else, it will be taken to court and challenged on a first amendment basis.

LibertyDrum commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 08:15 AM

"The law was obviously crafted to let the judges sort it out, but my hunch is that they will apply what THEY believe to be "common-sense" and "community" standards prior to any convictions."

Hence why there should be a clear definition as to what is/isn’t a breach in law.

Essentially, they are passing a law and saying "we can't EXACTLY say what act would be deviant of the law. However, the judge will let you know."

And by that, meaning you've already been accused, subpoenaed (possibly arrested), and placed in front a judge. In addition to your accusation being made public, taken from your place of employment, and any other inconvenience that goes along with court proceedings.

All because you're being accused of not having the sense that the law finds "common."

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I see ALOT of ways this can go wrong and possible used against people. Dare I say "witch hunt?"

sebekm commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I suspect that they have "wrongful complaint" laws on the books to prosecute those who make false allegations, too. Again - and this is just a hunch - the law was probably created because "the people" of AZ felt they had no other way to deal with the problem. Just asking people to "play nice" apparently hasn't worked there either.

I guess if you don't like the law you can be thankful you don't live in AZ, and you can hope similar legislation isn't enacted in GA.

LibertyDrum commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Yes, your right. That's the wonderful thing about state laws. You can always leave.

But, as you know, we live in a society of guilt until proven innocent. So, all one needs to do is make the accusation (true or not), present the story publicly, and the damage is done (long before the verdict comes out).

sebekm commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 14:00 PM

"But, as you know, we live in a society of guilt until proven innocent."

Legally - no - but as a practical matter in many cases, that's surely the way it is. How do the innocent get their reputations back after the smear campaign? They don't. And they usually don't have a real option to leave, because the allegations will follow them and that's all anybody remembers.

Iknowyou commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 15:52 PM

What is the definition or meaning of trolling?
Back in my younger days when my friends and I were out looking for young ladies we called it trolling.

sebekm commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 18:54 PM

For the purposes of this blog string, you have to go back to up2's initial blog post and view the link. As defined there, "trolls" are:

"They're the people who delight in posting something inflammatory or outrageous with the intention of provoking a reaction. They often don't care if what they post is offensive or simply stupid, all they desire is to disrupt genuine conversations or upset innocent people.

It's pretty immature behaviour - but sadly, it's all too common."

SOUND FAMILIAR??? wE'

sebekm commented on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 19:02 PM

(had to reboot)

So "trolling" for our purposes (and the AZ law) is acting/doing like a "troll."

LibertyDrum commented on Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 08:17 AM

Sounds VERY familiar.

sebekm commented on Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM

That was no "lady," that was our troller....

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 13:29 PM

I was thinking about taking the 5th on this one but after thinking it over and reading Sebe's definition...."posting something inflammatory or outrageous with the intention to provoke..." I cannot in good conscience plead the 5th. I am sure it is some sort of character flaw on my part but alas, sometimes I AM a Troll.

Ask some of the others.

sebekm commented on Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 19:25 PM

I've done it, too - at least in retaliation and sometimes probably as a carry-over from another blog. But IMHO, it's RECIDIVIST trolling that's the real problem. Without it, they probably wouldn't have the law in AZ. I guess "trolling" is like eating potato chips or peanuts - just one won't do.

LibertyDrum commented on Friday, Apr 06, 2012 at 20:38 PM

It'd be interesting for the psychoanalysis as to WHY someone does such a thing. I could probably make a few assumptions, but they would be just that - assumptions.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Apr 07, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Yes you are right LD. My shrink could give you the goods on me but I would need to sign a release of medical information form for you. I've told HER everything from childhood up to now.

For the record...I CAN be bought! :) $$$

Let the bidding begin.

Opening bids for a complete psychoanalytical profile of one JimmyMack start at an unbelieveably bargain low of $1,000.00. Act now. Payment from the highest bidder tendered in Cash or Money Orders only, please.


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