Arizona’s cyber-bullying law has passed both the state House and Senate. House Bill 2549 law will become official once Governor Jan Brewer approves the piece of legislation.
But lawmakers are concerned that the law could result in over censoring and lead to an increase in arrests for minor offenses like sending a mean tweet.
We reported to you earlier that this has caused some to worry that “If someone wanted to be creative they could use this bill as ammunition for anything they didn’t like being said.”
According to Fox news, “The state House and Senate lawmakers will meet within about a week to attempt to improve the bill, following the storm of criticism from First Amendment advocates and other free-speech supporters.”
Is the bill just another way for the government to generate revenue? As the bill currently stands, violators who send a message in an effort to “terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend” could face misdemeanor charges, a $2,500 fine, and six months in jail.
These types of laws come at a time when bullying has resulted in suicide and withdrawal from society for countless teens.
15-year-old Phoebe Prince was from Ireland and was trying to adapt to her new home in America. One of her close friends said that she was called an Irish slut and a whore by her classmates because she was pretty. Investigators believed this may have been a leading factor in her decision to kill herself.
Meline Kevorkian, author of 1010 Facts About Bullying says that “Bullying can be so dangerous because it can lead to cyber-mobbing where kids can get together and attack a child 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”