Navigating the Web of Legislation

Posted: October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Albany County recently made it a crime to participate in “cyber-bullying”. Some aspects of the law include

1. “any act of communicating…by mechanical or electronic means”

2. “disseminating embarrassing or sexually explicit photographs”

3. “with the intent to harass, threaten, abuse…”

Suicides that have been caused by cyber bullying or bullying in general are continuing to rise at an alarming rate. Although the intent was good, this ordinance is far too broad and vague and being able to classify certain types of activities as bullying would be  difficult. There are no clear parameters as to what constitutes as bullying and what doesn’t. The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of speech so where exactly do we draw the line between what may be bullying or merely venting? After all, that is the whole point of social networking – an outlet for one’s self expression. Albany County will have to reevaluate the ordinance.

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