Tennessee Makes Posting Offensive Pictures Online Illegal

Anthony WeinerTimothy B. Lee writes on ars technica:

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines.

The Tennessee legislature has been busy updating its laws for the Internet age, and not always for the better. Last week we reported on a bill that updated Tennessee’s theft-of-service laws to include “subscription entertainment services” like Netflix.

The ban on distressing images, which was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, is also an update to existing law. Tennessee law already made it a crime to make phone calls, send emails, or otherwise communicate directly with someone in a manner the sender “reasonably should know” would “cause emotional distress” to the recipient. If the communciation lacked a “legitimate purpose,” the sender faced jail time.

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But for image postings, the “emotionally distressed” individual need not be the intended recipient. Anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court decides you “should have known” that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Read More: ars technica

56 Comments on "Tennessee Makes Posting Offensive Pictures Online Illegal"

  1. VelaCreations.com | Jun 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm |

    yeah, that’s unconstitutional…  won’t hold up if tried in court.

  2. VelaCreations.com | Jun 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    yeah, that’s unconstitutional…  won’t hold up if tried in court.

  3. You don’t have a right not to be offended. 

  4. You don’t have a right not to be offended. 

  5. You don’t have a right not to be offended. 

  6. Any Tennessee govt. site shoul be flooded with pics of aborted fetuses and hardcore gay porn.

  7. Theneonheart.com | Jun 13, 2011 at 12:09 am |

    Simple… take a picture of the bill… say you are offended.

  8. Theneonheart.com | Jun 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm |

    Simple… take a picture of the bill… say you are offended.

    • ‘cept, the sender has to “reasoably know” you would be offended…

      • Spacegiraffe | Jun 21, 2011 at 6:01 am |

        It’s pretty obvious people will be offended by it.

        If I don’t smoke weed I get emotionally distressed because of my bipolar disorder, does this law indirectly make weed medicinally legal?  Or is Tennessee run by the football team?

  9. I like his jewfrow

  10. I like his jewfrow

  11. Voidthought | Jun 13, 2011 at 12:59 am |

    Any idea on how to do that anonymously?

  12. Anonymous | Jun 13, 2011 at 1:01 am |

    OK — race to find the most offensive image on the Tennessee government’s website begins now!

    Right now I’m finding this one mildly offensive:
    http://news.tn.gov/node/7266

  13. OK — race to find the most offensive image on the Tennessee government’s website begins now!

    Right now I’m finding this one mildly offensive:
    http://news.tn.gov/node/7266

  14. 4chan might have a problem with this… I’m just saying…

  15. 4chan might have a problem with this… I’m just saying…

  16. Fuck fucking Tennessee.

  17. Fuck fucking Tennessee.

  18. Anonymous | Jun 13, 2011 at 1:45 am |

    well there goes the internet

  19. Anonymous | Jun 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm |

    well there goes the internet

  20. Xplicitriding | Jun 13, 2011 at 2:57 am |

    So now how do we determine what is offensive to someone?

    I am offended by pictures of landscapes…

  21. Xplicitriding | Jun 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm |

    So now how do we determine what is offensive to someone?

    I am offended by pictures of landscapes…

  22. Tor Browser, along with the Paranoia Pack Firefox Add-On installed.

  23. O. Spengler | Jun 13, 2011 at 3:58 am |

    I think it’s fair to warn him he could go to jail for all his online offensiveness.

    bill.haslam@tn.gov

  24. *Kit, not Pack. Sorry about that.

  25. Anonymous | Jun 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

    ‘cept, the sender has to “reasoably know” you would be offended…

  26. Anonymous | Jun 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

    ‘cept, the sender has to “reasoably know” you would be offended…

  27. Wayneewald | Jun 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm |

    @font-face {
    font-family: “Calibri”;
    }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; line-height: 115%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; font-family: Calibri; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }

    William
    Taubman writes: “Emboldened by his fathers reaction to ‘Zhivago’, Sergei
    produced Solzhenitsyn’s ‘First Circle’ and ‘Cancer Ward’ and George Orwell’s
    ‘1984’.  At these however, Krushchev’s
    responses drew the line; “He didn’t like them,’ Sergei said.”

     

  28. Nice try, Disinfo!  Posting a picture of “Welcome Back Kotter’s” Arnold Horschak and labelling it “Anthony Weiner” . . .

  29. Wayne Ewald | Jun 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm |

    @font-face {
    font-family: “Calibri”;
    }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; line-height: 115%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; font-family: Calibri; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }

    William
    Taubman writes: “Emboldened by his fathers reaction to ‘Zhivago’, Sergei
    produced Solzhenitsyn’s ‘First Circle’ and ‘Cancer Ward’ and George Orwell’s
    ‘1984’.  At these however, Krushchev’s
    responses drew the line; “He didn’t like them,’ Sergei said.”

     

  30. Nice try, Disinfo!  Posting a picture of “Welcome Back Kotter’s” Arnold Horschak and labelling it “Anthony Weiner” . . .

  31. Wayne Ewald | Jun 13, 2011 at 11:15 am |

    William Taubman writes: “Emboldened by his fathers reaction to ‘Zhivago’, Sergei produced Solzhenitsyn’s ‘First Circle’ and ‘Cancer Ward’ and George Orwell’s ‘1984’.  At these however, Krushchev’s responses drew the line; “He didn’t like them,’ Sergei said.”

  32. Anonymous | Jun 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm |

    Ooh too bad there’s this little thing call the constitution that won’t allow that.  Tenn. needs to spend it’s money on sum butter lurnin.

  33. Investinourftre | Jun 13, 2011 at 11:17 am |

    Ooh too bad there’s this little thing call the constitution that won’t allow that.  Tenn. needs to spend it’s money on sum butter lurnin.

  34. Padraig22 | Jun 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm |

    you took the words right out of my mouth, it should be done until their servers start to moke an groan

  35. Anonymous | Jun 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm |

    Who cares about freedom of speech and expression, just protect us from Goat dot se and Tubgirl!
    –I’m being sarcastic, obviously and JIC the law passes view at yer own risk!

  36. greengestalt | Jun 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

    Who cares about freedom of speech and expression, just protect us from Goat dot se and Tubgirl!
    –I’m being sarcastic, obviously and JIC the law passes view at yer own risk!

  37. Voidthought | Jun 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm |

    Thanks to TN legislation, weak people have their insecurities protected by law.

  38. Voidthought | Jun 13, 2011 at 5:58 pm |

    Thanks to TN legislation, weak people have their insecurities protected by law.

  39. Cory Tullier | Jun 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm |

    I bet two girls one cup is from Tennessee

  40. Cory Tullier | Jun 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm |

    I bet two girls one cup is from Tennessee

  41.  I don’t really get this. They have to prove that the offensive photo was uploaded in Tennessee? Can a Tenessean complain to police about a picture uploaded from, say, Australia? Since he/she viewed it from a location in Knoxville? It seems like governments of all sorts are slow to understand that location in cyberspace is becoming completely moot.

  42.  I don’t really get this. They have to prove that the offensive photo was uploaded in Tennessee? Can a Tenessean complain to police about a picture uploaded from, say, Australia? Since he/she viewed it from a location in Knoxville? It seems like governments of all sorts are slow to understand that location in cyberspace is becoming completely moot.

  43.  I don’t really get this. They have to prove that the offensive photo was uploaded in Tennessee? Can a Tenessean complain to police about a picture uploaded from, say, Australia? Since he/she viewed it from a location in Knoxville? It seems like governments of all sorts are slow to understand that location in cyberspace is becoming completely moot.

  44. Does that mean Sarah Palin is banned from campaigning in Tennessee?

  45. Does that mean Sarah Palin is banned from campaigning in Tennessee?

  46. http://www.tn.gov/governor/about.html

    Completely offensive to me.

  47. Spacegiraffe | Jun 21, 2011 at 10:01 am |

    It’s pretty obvious people will be offended by it.

    If I don’t smoke weed I get emotionally distressed because of my bipolar disorder, does this law indirectly make weed medicinally legal?  Or is Tennessee run by the football team?

Comments are closed.