A controversial law has been proposed in New York that would effectively ban people’s ability to post online anonymously in a move that is supposed to stop cyber-bullying and protect people online.
Jim Conte, Republican Assemblyman, said, “The legislation, which I am sponsoring, seeks to combat cyber-bullying by allowing the victim of an anonymous Website posting to request that the post be removed if the anonymous source is unwilling to attach his or her name to it.”
He also added that it would help businesses who rely on online reviews be protected from spiteful comments.
It is not believed that the move will come to fruition, however, due to America’s Fifth Amendment and the right to free speech. Critics of the proposed legislation have already come out in force with many saying that it is legislation that could have worked in the 1700’s had the internet been around then, while highlighting that any immediate threats of violence are already outside the purview of freedom of speech and can be prosecuted.
Laws are already in place to help unmask perpetrators of cyber-harassment, while it was also highlighted that many people online are quite willing to put forth hatred and bigotry while still signing their name to it so it would not eliminate cyber-bullying.
A spokesperson for CNET said, “One of the beauties of the Internet is that you can post anonymous comments. It allows kids who may be abused to reach out and get help.”