For all the bravado we profess on the blog here , and all the informational and motivational posts we have written analysising the concequences of trolling across the interpersonal and coporporate world from the playground to the boardroom, I admit we have offered little answers to how to solve the problem. The best outcome of course is that education over time, of which this blog will contribute to will change attitudes among the public to see the vile consequences of trolling and simply stop. That of course is the ideal situation but with no sustainable resourcing from governments or the private sector, the difficulty to get the message across and measure behavioural changes as it occurs in such a massive scale the ideal solution seems far and unreachable.
Naturally, though as most political hot potatoes find themselves , we have discovered attempts across the world for faster and more immediate fixes. The Answer? As The Prime Minster of Australia eloquently called it ” the big stick of regulation”. The most recent attempt in the western world seem to be that of Arizona, A republican controlled state of the USA. In recent months, a bill simply known as House Bill 2549. The House Minority leader has spoken about how the bill will help curb internet trolling as well as cyber stalking of citizens that have seen the suicide rate and internet-related crimes grow. The 3 page bill’s centere piece is below :
“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.
Minor violations of the act will lead to a maximum of 6 months in jail and a $250,000 fine. But if cyber stalking is established, it could result in a jail term of up to 25 years.
While we appreciate that deterrent effect of most legislation are successful in curbing offences , and in the end this law will be sure to scare trolls into thinking twice before thier next troll attatck , we share concerns with civil liberty group which claim the law will censor and violate the constitutional right to free speech . We also are wary on the enforceability of the law. How will the authorities trace the trolls? How will this work if all you need to do is troll outside of the state border? As a detterent it might work but in actuality, can anyone be truly held responsible? I doubt it.
As always let us know what you think!
Post by J.Y