A lot of John Smiths these days

There’s that word “cyberbullying” again, and as always, politicians, lest they find themselves on the receiving end of it, are demanding that Something Be Done:

Proposed legislation … would require New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, to “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”

Um, yeah. Good luck with that.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte said the legislation would cut down on “mean-spirited and baseless political attacks” and “turns the spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.”

Sen. Thomas O’Mara, a Republican who is also sponsoring the measure, said it would “help lend some accountability to the internet age.”

Remember when the GOP actually went to the effort of pretending to be interested in the preservation of free speech? Me either. (And we all know the Democratic Party perspective: absolute freedom so long as you toe the party line, otherwise screw you.)

There is, of course, a punchline:

The bills also demand those sites to have a contact number or e-mail address posted for “such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.”

Oddly, the bill has no identification requirement for those who request the takedown of anonymous content.

Now why would anyone think that to be odd?

(Seen at The Camp of the Saints.)


  1. McGehee »

    24 May 2012 · 10:45 am

    Hmph. Anybody needing to contact me about my site need only use WHOIS. They could even come to my door with their complaints.

    Politely, even. That is, if they want things to go well for them…

  2. McGehee »

    24 May 2012 · 10:46 am

    …and it just occurred to me the link on my comment above doesn’t GO to my site…

  3. Jess »

    24 May 2012 · 2:31 pm

    I can see the logic. You bully websites to find people that wish to remain anonymous, so you can bully them in public.

  4. McGehee »

    25 May 2012 · 12:59 pm

    Not everyone is looking to bully those wishing to remain anonymous, of course. See this morning’s post, on up the main page.

    That bird’s influence seems to run deep among a certain subset of netizens.

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