– Two New York State lawmakers want to police anonymous online comments. State Senator Tom O’Mara of the Southern Tier and Assemblyman Dean Murray of Long Island have proposed the Internet Protection Act. They say it would combat cyberbullying and not infringe upon free speech. If someone complains about a comment, websites would have to remove the offending post.
Not surprisingly, the proposal is getting a ton of heat. The New York Post writes:
These guys ever hear of free speech?
True, anonymous commenters can be obnoxious trolls. And sponsors say they hope to protect kids from cyberbullies and shield businesses from negative posts by their rivals — not that even those goals should be allowed to trump the First Amendment.
But as Assemblyman Jim Conte (R-LI) made clear, the bill will also ban “mean-spirited and baseless political attacks that . . . falsely tarnish the opponent’s reputation by using the anonymity of the Web.”
Forget the First Amendment — these guys are looking out for No. 1.
In the assembly, a bunch of GOP lawmakers have signed on. But the measure doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. Who knows what may have happened if media outlets hadn’t discovered the bill’s existence.
– Canada stands to profit a lot more than New York State and Niagara Falls from Nik Wallenda’s wire walk. Oh darn.
– Rochester TV stations WROC and WUHF have shared a building, along with news and sales staff for years. The stations have different owners, however. These “covert consolidations” are becoming more common and the FCC is investigating.
– You can buy a 176-year-old building in Clarendon for $1. It needs a lot of work.
– The first few hot days of summer feel yucky, don’t they? Our bodies gradually get used to the heat.