Tennessee makes 'emotionally distressing' images on the web illegal - time for Anonymous to step in?

Discussion in 'Freedom of Expression' started by Circus Fag, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Circus Fag Member

    Yep, you heard that right - you can now go to jail for distributing/sharing images that may be considered 'offensive' in the state of Tennessee, which, quite frankly, is absolutely ridiculous.

    Apparently the law prohibits any images that "frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress" to other people. As Gizmodo points out, this could be practically anything, and is quite clearly against the US constitution.

    Now, I'm no hacker, I admit, but I'm sure many of you are, or know hackers associated with Anonymous. I know that Anonymous isn't my 'personal army' or whatever, but this sounds to like something that requires retaliation against from Anons. I can't do anything on the online front, but perhaps some of you lot would be able to do something about this?

    Just thought you lads/lasses would like to know.
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Anonymous Member

    Bump for interest.
    Cross posted the articles over to /b/,no doubt the thread has 404'd already.
    Anonews is down due to a big fat D'dos.
  3. Anonymous Member

    I find the confederate flag I will be looking for any Tennessee websites that show it so I can report it to the proper authorities.

    Was no non-tard around when they crafted this anti-Constitutional law?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Anonymous Member

    Good find OP, thanks.
  5. Anonymous Member

    I think that we could have some fun with this law at their exspense.
  6. Anonymous Member

    What if people found christ nailed to the cross offensive ?
    • Like Like x 2
  7. LocalSP Member

    I find all of these fucking nitwit politicians offensive. When I see any politicians picture it makes me want to barf and claw my eyes out, especially politicians from Tennessee.
  8. Anonymous Member

    /b/ have picked it up now.
    There is reag.
    • Like Like x 4
  9. anonymous612 Member

    Good find, OP. If /b/ has this now I expect pornspam in TN's immediate future, so sit back and enjoy.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Xenu Is Lord Member

    The picture of the Governor and the Attorney General are offensive to me. Can we have them arrested?
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Herro Member

    Seems like a well intentioned attempt to update harassment laws. The problem, as that scholar noted, is that it goes far to broad by saying it's a crime if anyone who sees the image feels threatened. Should be an easily challenged law. They should just update the existing harassment statute to include frightening or threatening images directly sent to someone or clearly targeted at someone.

    One other thing, " Tennessee Just Made Offensive Online Pictures Illegal" is a pretty weaselly headline for this. The language of the law specifically says images that "frighten intimidate or cause emotional distress" and it's linked to the Harassment statute. So it's not just something a person finds offensive, it would have to be something that rises to the legal definition of harassment.

    It is an interesting conundrum though. It's kind of like burning a cross on one's own property while still having it visible to the public- where do you draw the line between freedom of expression and the rights of others to feel safe in their day to day lives.
    • Like Like x 5
  12. anonymous612 Member

    I hate it when you stop trolling.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Anonymous Member

    The issue I have is say when the head of BP is sent a photo of dead birds soaked in oil and a title that says IF THESE WERE YOUR KIDS WOULD YOU CARE? it would not be protected under a protest prevision. One could stand outside with a sign and it would be ok? The point can also be made about Scientology members too. A photo of Jan Eastgate behind bars with black eyes saying YOUR NEXT! sent to the second in command off the CCHR could land someone in jail. This is more or less what happened to Sparrow, someone felt threatened based of loosely made comments he might have made or were intentionally taken out of context. The problem with stalking laws like this is they don't require specific proof of a threat. A Psycho is going to hurt someone no matter what the courts say. These laws only make it more easy to prosecute people without showing intent and they should be overturned.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Herro Member

    I'm sorry bb, why don't you hop up on my couch and I'll make it all better.
  15. Herro Member

    What about people who actually are victims of harassment? To me it seems an issue of standards, not whether or not we should even have such laws. For instance, if someone sent a black couple a picture of a noose with the words "YOU'RE NEXT," I think we would all agree that society and the law should not tolerate that. Thus, I would argue, the question becomes how do we best arbitrate between what is and what is not considered harassment. Free speech is not and should not be an absolute.
  16. Anonymous Member

    Can figure out between you which one is the bitch or the cultist ?
  17. Anonymous Member

  18. Anonymous Member

    I did not include a death threat. What you stated is a clearly defined death threat. As it stands that would be illegal as it is. The law being passed in Tenn is something else. I am sorry if someone is offended or feels uncomfortable but they way the laws have been is tough shit, as it should be. A specific threat of violence is not tolerated anyplace in the US. This law is bullshit and continues to erode free speech.
  19. anonymous612 Member

    that just makes it worse D:
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Herro Member

    But this law is not talking about images that just offend people.
  21. Loki's spawn Member

    Wouldn't it be better if they left it up to the discretion of the site owners? The law is so vague that I personally think it would be better if each site had their own definite rules about what can or cannot be posted. Also, what constitutes emotional distress?
  22. Herro Member

    No I don't think it should be up to site owners whether or not somebody should be allowed to harass people. That's what this law is about- harassment. As for what constitutes emotional distress, it's subjective and has to be determined by a reasonableness standard on a case by case basis. Like I said, I see nothing wrong with criminalizing using the internet to target people with threatening and harassing images. The problem is that the law is so broad in scope that anyone feeling threatened by the image constitutes a crime.
  23. anonymous612 Member

    ^tl;dr: The issue isn't whether the law exists, it's in how you define "threatening or harassing images."
    • Like Like x 1
  24. Sponge Member

    We have this shit in England IRL.
    The police, on the complaint of one person can prettymuch shut down an art gallery exhbit because the complainant was "offended". IMO, in most cases, with a half decent lawyer, it wouldn't stand up in court (if the Crown Prosecution Service doesn't already throw it out before it reaches court) but the police can still ruin your day because the law says they have to act on the complaint (and let's face it, cops have never been known to be an arbiter of what is good/bad taste) so they often err on the side of caution (in favour of the complainant).
  25. Herro Member

    That isn't what this law is about.
  26. Loki's spawn Member

    What I meant was like having a set of predefined rules about what constitutes as okay to post on their site. People agree to these conditions before posting. Obviously, no site could allow death threats or similar messages that violate the law. However, since people get emotionally distressed by different things, the site making it clear what images it will allow and what it won't allow, gives people the chance to enjoy images that under this new law might get people sent to prison.
  27. Herro Member

    I think that would be unnecessary. I think you just need an extension of the existing harassment statutes to include using internet technologies to target people with threatening or harassing content. But it should be the act of targeting someone with such an image that is criminalized.
  28. Loki's spawn Member

    How would you be able to tell if they are targeting someone with their image, or just posting it for the lulz? Certain images, like the noose one you mentioned before, could be easily recognized, but others may be more difficult to determine.
  29. Herro Member

    Again, that's something that can only be determined in context, on a case by case basis.
    • Like Like x 1
  30. Sponge Member

    In which case the complainant would seek an injunction and bring a civil suit. This reduces frivolous complaints. You already have cheap access to torts for harassment, if that is what it is really about.
  31. Loki's spawn Member

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    What I don't like about the bill is that it doesn't just go after people who target the victim.

    Your idea about the targeting is good, but the bill goes way too far.
  32. Herro Member

    • Like Like x 2
  33. Anonymous Member

    Targeting? Wut?
  34. fallingspider Member

    I consider Palin offensive, and her retoric splashed all over the internet to be harrassment...will this law make her go away?
  35. Anonymous Member


    Free Speech is Free Speech.

    Death threats are Death threats.
  36. Herro Member

    What's the difference?
  37. Anonymous Member

    Ok, Lets play a game of Spot the difference.

    [IMG] god+hates+fags+2.jpg
  38. Herro Member

    Aren't those both speech?
  39. Loki's spawn Member

    I think he means the Islam one is attempting to restrict free speech through death threats, while the other one isn't.
    • Like Like x 1
  40. Anonymous Member

    Death Threat : Behead Those Who Insult Islam
    Opinion : God Hates You.

    wow. Is it really such a hard concept to grasp?
    • Like Like x 5

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