Tennessee law makes posting scary images illegal

It seems that the state of Tennessee is in the news yet again. After reporting on a bill that makes sharing your Netflix login credentials illegal, it now appears the state is going against offensive images and videos online. A new amendment that goes into effect on July 1st makes it a crime to post an image or video clip that could “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to an individual.

This vague wording could easily be applied to nearly any photo or video in existence. Under the new regulation, posting the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed would now be a crime in the state of Tennessee, even if only posted on your personal Facebook page or other similar location. Worse than that, movies such as Saving Private Ryan, or Blair Witch Project could also be considered illegal to distribute electronically within Tennessee due to “frightening” and “disturbing” images. The law does take the time to state that the ISP will not be held liable for any violations.

The site Volokh.com took the time to merge the new amendment into the original law, and it reads as follows .

(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally:

(4) Communicates with another person or transmits or displays an image in a manner in which there is a reasonable expectation that the image will be viewed by the victim by [by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication] without legitimate purpose:

(A) (i) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or

(ii) In a manner the defendant knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities; and

(B) As the result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed.

While it remains to be seen whether this law will be able to stand up in courts, it’s a bit concerning that in the face of large deficits, rampant unemployment, and other similar issues, our lawmakers are focusing on password sharing and scary images.

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i find laws like this scary they cant be posted also loads of kids are frightend and distressed when watching the disney video bambi .... does this mean thats banned to?

LOL thats just fab! The drink JD does come from over there though, and I love JD so I wont say anything bad about them.. just that this is a little to far on the law side.

I understand the freedom of speech but some people abuse the good nature of the internet and peoples brains with the disgusting stuff they post.

witalit said,
I understand the freedom of speech but some people abuse the good nature of the internet and peoples brains with the disgusting stuff they post.

That's what makes it worth it

Oh yea I forgot to mention if you dont like what you see CLOSE YOUR FVCKIN EYES or CLOSE YOUR BROWSER DONT BE A B!TCH.jez by the way thanks NEOWIN for doing whatever you did to my tbob120 account.

/me is in Tennessee ...
I think these restrictions are ridiculous. the internet was meant to be free.
freedom to download whatever we want.

Bugballou said,
What country is Tennessee in ? Sure glad I reside in the good old U. S. of A.

<facepalm> really? </facepalm>....guess this is where our (the US's) educational system kicks in... <sad neowinian> You can't be serious? </sad neowinian> <sarcasm> Oh, must be from Tennessee, I guess...or Alabama... </sarcasm>
&nbsp
&nbsp
<h1> WOW
</h1>
<worried> </worried>

<sarcasm> must be smart enough to figure out what I did there </sarcasm>

well, guess that means that people that live in Tennessee better not post pics of themselves on FB then, right? (Only joking, my cousin lives there, he's a drummer for some christian rock band, pretty famous, I guess)...oh wait, that was either Alabama or Kentucky I was thinking of...nevermind! (Still, only joking!)

While it remains to be seen whether this law will be able to stand up in courts, it's a bit concerning that in the face of large deficits, rampant unemployment, and other similar issues, our lawmakers are focusing on password sharing and scary images.

that's pretty much the bottom line. it's a wonder people even TRY to pass STUPID stuff like this.

but i can't imagine anyone really trying to enforce that. but it's still just the thought that someone could even TRY to enforce it is just laughable.

Solid Knight said,
Don't post them to your own account then.

You don't get it - they're tracing you by IP, not email account that you used to post an image.

KingCrimson said,

You don't get it - they're tracing you by IP, not email account that you used to post an image.

right, drive up to someones unsecured wireless, post scary images on a new account from an new email you've never touched before and never will again, ???, lulz

KingCrimson said,

You don't get it - they're tracing you by IP, not email account that you used to post an image.

So they're going to find that image somebody posted to 4chan by your IP? How?

Solid Knight said,

So they're going to find that image somebody posted to 4chan by your IP? How?

Its all logged which is good, I hate that site some people post some sick crap on their and stupidly I got some adware popup crap which when removing f**ked my machine. My own fault for not having sufficient protection, and probably clicking a dodgey link.

It will probably be repealed as soon as they try to prosecute someone with it.
In other news, you have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons. Sky is blue.

PlogCF said,
Anthony Weiner's probably counting his blessings right now, thankful he doesn't live in Tennessee...

yeah right with a last name like that he's probably blessin himself all over.

It always starts as a state law....that's the only fuel Obama needs to make that law federal.

Better get him out next year before it happens...trust me...it will happen.

texasghost said,
It always starts as a state law....that's the only fuel Obama needs to make that law federal.

Better get him out next year before it happens...trust me...it will happen.


Yeah, Bush was so much better...................
No single man in the entire world has made more people ****ed off than that guy.
And I'm including Hitler.

Wouldn't this law also make the Holiday Halloween kinda illegal because every year around October there scary stuff posted from vids to photo's people post on net shows pranks or how they spooked kids family and friends and so on and all other Halloween stuff that goes on around that time.

casper2 said,
Wouldn't this law also make the Holiday Halloween kinda illegal because every year around October there scary stuff posted from vids to photo's people post on net shows pranks or how they spooked kids family and friends and so on and all other Halloween stuff that goes on around that time.

**** man, you got yourself a plan. On October, everyone go to Ten and just sue everyone in a costume. Boom, easiest money ever!

casper2 said,
Wouldn't this law also make the Holiday Halloween kinda illegal because every year around October there scary stuff posted from vids to photo's people post on net shows pranks or how they spooked kids family and friends and so on and all other Halloween stuff that goes on around that time.

No worries, this will make a huge bunch of americans filty rich due to suing.
"I saw the maze game, I'm suing you for 40 mill USD!!!! I am traumatized."

sopharine said,
Newt Gingrich said it best, this is right wing social engineering.

Oh please, Democrats pull this crap all the time. They are no friends of free speech. Just go to most universities, you'll find all kinds of "speech codes".

This is outrageous. It's one thing for the ISP to set terms in their license agreement on "terms of use", but for the government to step in is 100% unconstitutional!

IMO this should fall under freedom of speech, and therefore should make this law unconstitutional. There are already laws on the books that cover making threats and harassing someone, why add another law thats vague and its only purpose is to serve as a loophole for when someone wants to have you arrested for now damn good reason.

Slowly but surely your freedoms are being taken away, and no one is stopping it.

Don't blame me bro. I don't vote for idiots like this that create this kind of garbage. PS - yes, this will undoubtedly run right into the 1st Amendment, but when did the Constitution ever stop a good righty?

Soulsiphon said,
Don't blame me bro. I don't vote for idiots like this that create this kind of garbage. PS - yes, this will undoubtedly run right into the 1st Amendment, but when did the Constitution ever stop a good righty?

So yeah, what good did this constitution really bring you? A bunch of rednecks with a "human right" to bear arms everywhere. You guys have more guns than a medium-sized civil war-wrecked african country. Give it up already and get some sensible guys to write the laws, not someone who is oppressed by Britain at the time of writing.

Alastyr said,

Give it up already and get some sensible guys to write the laws, not someone who is oppressed by Britain at the time of writing.

I didn't realize Tennessee was still being oppressed by Britain. I guess that might explain the crazy laws that have been coming out of there.

First person who gets in trouble by this law needs to fight it up to the supreme court. This is more than redonkelus. I can't even think of a made up word for this. The total opposite of Scrumtulescent.

DerpDerp said,
America, **** yeah! Land of the free and home of the brave.

Yea, dont lump all of America together. There are idiots everywhere.

techbeck said,

Yea, dont lump all of America together. There are idiots everywhere.


Sure, but yet US and A seem to have the larger portion of it...
You know, everything is bigger and better over there. Even the idiots.

Alastyr said,

Sure, but yet US and A seem to have the larger portion of it...
You know, everything is bigger and better over there. Even the idiots.
Considering there's only 1 other Country as a specific group which has a larger population. So for you to say "US and A seem to have the larger portion of it" is an obvious one considering the large amount of people already living here so theres bound to be more idiots here than else where.

It's like saying Africa has more African Americans than any other location.

Morphine-X said,
It's like saying Africa has more African Americans than any other location.

Africa is the worst _country_ ever!

techbeck said,

Yea, dont lump all of America together. There are idiots everywhere.


I agree with you, when I said "America", I meant USA. I did not mean to offend Canada, Latic countries and so on.

Hey, this wasn't introduced and signed by any of those 'small government' righties was it? Just askin. I honestly can't find where it says in any of about 20 links to this story...

What do you expect from a state where the educated people there pronounce it "nukula" rather than "nuclear", especially the nuclear engineers!

Brian Miller said,
What do you expect from a state where the educated people there pronounce it "nukula" rather than "nuclear", especially the nuclear engineers!

lol you're silly Bri

I hope someone prints up this new law and distributes fliers to every man, woman, and child in Tennessee while including the last sentence of the article,

"While it remains to be seen whether this law will be able to stand up in courts, it's a bit concerning that in the face of large deficits, rampant unemployment, and other similar issues, our lawmakers are focusing on password sharing and scary images."

I can't believe these people are spending so much time on so many lame issues when there are real problems in our society and economy (among others) while people are struggling to put food on the table.

I see... ^.- ... well in that case they need to reintroduce those old laws that don't make any sense these days, like having to practice archery before church.

drazgoosh said,
I see... ^.- ... well in that case they need to reintroduce those old laws that don't make any sense these days, like having to practice archery before church.

You say that like you don't?

I wish I lived in Tennessee just to post thousands of these photos across the internet, then rally people to do the same. Please oh please put someone in jail for this, make my day.

Wha...? Stop lurking around on those sorts of sites then. Whats next, no more reruns of the Halloween movies on TV because some person thought a scary image was, well you know, scary?

Here's an easy way to keep yourself safe from anything you might find disturbing on the internet. Unplug your computer. Problem solved. No inane legislature required.

Jen Smith said,
Wha...? Stop lurking around on those sorts of sites then. Whats next, no more reruns of the Halloween movies on TV because some person thought a scary image was, well you know, scary?

Here's an easy way to keep yourself safe from anything you might find disturbing on the internet. Unplug your computer. Problem solved. No inane legislature required.


+1 Why must you always be the voice of reason?

I suspect the intent of this is to make it illegal to harass someone with disturbing images, etc.

While this particular approach is clearly too vague and will fail immediately at the judicial level, it was my understanding that it is already illegal to harass or intend to cause emotional distress to someone REGARDLESS of the method or medium.

PlogCF said,
Why must you always be the voice of reason?

Unfortunately it's one of the conditions of my parole. Like I told the judge, that riot wasn't entirely my fault, and I didn't even know about the people stuffed in the back of my truck until I crossed the state line. Stupid technicalities.

Jen Smith said,

Unfortunately it's one of the conditions of my parole. Like I told the judge, that riot wasn't entirely my fault, and I didn't even know about the people stuffed in the back of my truck until I crossed the state line. Stupid technicalities.

Haha, and the voice of humor too!

dead.cell said,
Unfortunately, we gotta have the government take care of us at each and every turn. Sad really.

Actually we don't, and this is why idiots need to stop voting for Republicans.

Ya I know, they all say less government, but facts are facts, and the biggest spending and invasive social restrictions have almost all been implemented by Republican representativies in the last 30-40 years.

Their idea of 'less government' is a shaday definition that has the qualifier of 'unless we think we need to regulate and control people or we need to expand government to help multi-billion $ coporations.'

Any true conservative minded people, go read (or audio) a book that was started by Goldwater before he died with his friend that finished the book, John Dean - "Conservatives without Conscience." (And yes the name is intentionaly a play on Goldwater's book from the 1960s)

We no longer have liberal and conservative parties in the USA, we have corporatists and non-corporatists and we have authoritarians and non-authoritarians. (Guess which two hit the Republican representativies about 85% of the time?)

thenetavenger said,
snipped

Don't turn this into some kind of Democrats vs Republicans flame war. We get enough of that crap in the Domestic Politics forum.

Elessar said,

Major facepalm. I see countless lawsuits popping up by people just to abuse the system.

Unfortunately, that should happen, if nothing more than to show Tenn. how stupid they are becoming.

TCA said,

For them, yes.


There should be a law against trying to make stupid laws which just stresses everyone out thus causing more damage than what this law is trying to prevent.