Pot Meet Kettle

April 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

No Country for Democratically Elected Trolls

So Arizona thinks trolling should be a Class 3 Felony, because some legislators watched the ABC Family movie Cyberbully and have decided that no one should be allowed to say mean things on the internet, to anyone.

This is stupid for all kinds of reasons, and I’m not even talking about issues of Free Speech. Other people can talk about Free Speech all they want, that’s the obvious concern I suppose. For me, the issue is less about white boys’ unalienable right to say racist things on the internet and more about the precedent these kinds of laws set.

The problem, and it is a tale as old as time, is that lawmakers don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and end up throwing their weight behind statutes that either have (or in this case, will have) absolutely no effect on the intended targets (they’re called proxies you idiots) and/or end up making the internet a more oppressive place for regular users, since this sort of language effectively dismantles the notion of context and gives the State the power to decide what qualifies as profane. To say nothing of what counts as being “annoying,” dear god. Again, this is not about protecting white boys’ right to be racist shitheads on the internet — it’s about allowing for dissent and pushback in ALL corners of the internet, including pushback against said shitheads.

This isn’t to say that bullying and other forms of aggression –online or off– isn’t a problem. It absolutely is. But why don’t we address the root of that problem, starting with homophobic lawmakers whose platforms are predicated on institutionalized bigotry, oh excuse me, “protecting the children,” children who for some reason can’t stop being hateful towards each other, particularly the gay ones, who for the record shouldn’t be allowed to adopt or marry because EW GROSS, but really you kids should stop saying such mean things to each other, I know, let’s call that trolling and make it illegal.

A+ you guys.


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