View Full Version : Annoying & Offending Language Online Would Be Crime Under Arizona Bill

04-04-2012, 08:49 PM

Distasteful comments and online insults are a mainstay of many social networks and online comment boards, but a new bill passed in Arizona could send people who "annoy or offend" to jail for up to six months.

House Bill 2549, which had bipartisan support, passed in the state's legislature and is awaiting one final vote on a minor "technical change" before the bill is sent to Gov. Jan Brewer.

The bill's sweeping language would severely inhibit First Amendment rights, David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition in New York City, told ABCNews.com.

The bill states it would be a class one misdemeanor for anyone to "terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend" through electronic and digital devices. It does not provide definitions of the terms and what would be considered annoying or offensive.

In a letter to the governor, Horowitz urged a veto "to allow legislators to craft a narrower bill that addresses their concerns without infringing on the right of free speech."

He said her office acknowledged receiving the letter and said it would include it in a pack of materials for the governor to review before she makes her decision.

The governor's office said it would not comment until the legislation reached Brewer's desk.

04-04-2012, 09:33 PM

What about annoying photos?

04-04-2012, 10:18 PM
Intimidate, threaten and harrass I get. Annoy? Really? I have to tolerate the idiot who pulls out in front of me in a 55MPH zone and does 35MPH but if someone annoys me on-line they face charges? <br />

04-04-2012, 11:01 PM
A valid point sir.

04-05-2012, 06:02 AM
And nobody behind you for a mile! lol...

04-05-2012, 09:47 AM
how in the heck do they plan to police this? You post anything and odds are that someone will be annoyed or offended by it. Being annoyed or offended is all completely up to the individual so I see no way to implement this.

on the bright side maybe they will help wipe out the habit of typing in ALL CAPS.

04-05-2012, 10:01 AM
If they took everything off the internet that annoyed me, there'd be nothing left.

BGT Masters
04-05-2012, 03:12 PM
Half the stuff I post online annoys myself, I hope I don't press charges against me.

04-05-2012, 03:41 PM
you should press full charges!!!