New Zealand Has Made Being A Hateful Jerk On The Internet A Crime

man angry at internet

Posting stupid things on Facebook is sadly still not a capital crime, but New Zealand has just passed an anti-troll law. Now it’s a question of enforcing it.

The law itself is actually pretty narrow. Essentially, you’ll fall afoul of the law if you try to get somebody to commit suicide, post nude pictures of them online without their consent, post somebody’s home address or personal details without their consent, harass people, or use racial slurs, mock their religion, and so on.

Note to anybody skipping down to the comments: The law specifically orders the courts to put the New Zealand Bill of Rights act first, so no, comedy will not die in New Zealand. You just can’t threaten somebody’s life and then, when you get caught, try to pretend you were being an edgy comedian.

That said, the law has an uphill battle. Dealing with harassment is a constant problem for Facebook and Twitter, both of which are obligated to remove threats within 48 hours of discovering them under the new law. Attempts to curb trolling through government action have found limited success in the past. On the other hand, considering the first reaction of one group of weepy teenagers to the law was to start planning to invade New Zealand, this might at least give us some entertainment.

(Via Engadget)