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

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  • VelaCreations.com

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

  • VelaCreations.com

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

    • Dj

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

      • Voidthought

        Any idea on how to do that anonymously?

        • j0hn

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

          • j0hn

            *Kit, not Pack. Sorry about that.

      • Padraig22

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

  • Haystack

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

  • Haystack

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

  • Haystack

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

  • Dj

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

  • Theneonheart.com

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

  • Theneonheart.com

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

    • Belcat2

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

      • Spacegiraffe

        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?

  • ohyeah

    I like his jewfrow

  • ohyeah

    I like his jewfrow

  • Voidthought

    Any idea on how to do that anonymously?

  • Anonymous

    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

  • urza9814

    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

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

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

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

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

  • Jbar

    Fuck fucking Tennessee.

  • Jbar

    Fuck fucking Tennessee.

  • Anonymous

    well there goes the internet

  • Anonymous

    well there goes the internet

  • Xplicitriding

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

    I am offended by pictures of landscapes…

  • Xplicitriding

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

    I am offended by pictures of landscapes…

  • j0hn

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

  • O. Spengler

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

    bill.haslam@tn.gov

  • j0hn

    *Kit, not Pack. Sorry about that.

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Wayneewald

    @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.”

     

  • http://newdruidexpress.blogspot.com Symbollocks The Druid

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

  • http://newdruidexpress.blogspot.com Symbollocks The Druid

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

  • Wayne Ewald

    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.”

  • Wayne Ewald

    @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.”

     

  • Investinourftre

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Padraig22

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

  • greengestalt

    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!

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Voidthought

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

  • Voidthought

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

  • Cory Tullier

    I bet two girls one cup is from Tennessee

  • Cory Tullier

    I bet two girls one cup is from Tennessee

  • Zags674

     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.

  • Zags674

     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.

  • Zags674

     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.

  • KxBk6U

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

  • KxBk6U

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

  • Guest

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

    Completely offensive to me.

  • Spacegiraffe

    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?