Tennessee outlaws any picture “causing emotional distress”


Always on Watch finds this gemThis comes from of all places, Tennessee. Why are we taking this ride? Political correctness gone off the rails. It is like so many intentions that are rooted in believing that one is “right” but the hidden consequences are enormous. For a vid and  a keen analysis, stroll on over to her place.  Earlier, Tennessee passed a new law that has been approved by the legislature in Tennessee at the urging of the RIAA, which will make it a criminal offense to share your “entertainment subscription” login info with anyone else.

Tech Dirt: Now: 

Post A Picture That ‘Causes Emotional Distress’ And You Could Face Jailtime In Tennessee

The specific law outlaws posting a photo online that causes “emotional distress” to someone and has no “legitimate purpose.” While the law does state that there needs to be “malicious intent,” it also includes a massive loophole, in that it says that you can still be liable if the person “reasonably should know” that the actions would “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”

The specific law outlaws posting a photo online that causes “emotional distress” to someone and has no “legitimate purpose.” While the law does state that there needs to be “malicious intent,” it also includes a massive loophole, in that it says that you can still be liable if the person “reasonably should know” that the actions would “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.” Eugene Volokh notes all sorts of problems with this:

1. If you’re posting a picture of someone in an embarrassing situation — not at all limited to, say, sexually themed pictures or illegally taken pictures — you’re likely a criminal unless the prosecutor, judge, or jury concludes that you had a “legitimate purpose.”

2. Likewise, if you post an image intended to distress some religious, political, ethnic, racial, etc. group, you too can be sent to jail if governments decisionmaker thinks your purpose wasn’t “legitimate.” Nothing in the law requires that the picture be of the “victim,” only that it be distressing to the “victim.”

3. The same is true even if you didn’t intend to distress those people, but reasonably should have known that the material — say, pictures of Mohammed, or blasphemous jokes about Jesus Christ, or harsh cartoon insults of some political group — would “cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities.”

4. And of course the same would apply if a newspaper or TV station posts embarrassing pictures or blasphemous images on its site.

Full story here at Always on Watch

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12 Responses to “Tennessee outlaws any picture “causing emotional distress””

  1. Matt Says:

    This is obviously a means to ban things that certain folks don’t like. Christian bashing will still be OK, criticizing anyone on the left, or allies of the left will be unacceptable.

    Like

    • bunkerville Says:

      All in the mind of the beholder Matt.

      Like

  2. Country Thinker Says:

    As a recovering attorney I know that this is a deeper and more profound problem than just one silly law. I don’t have the space to fully expound upon it, but this sort of thinking is embedded into our tort law and many other areas. Basically we have moved from an objective notion of law in which the permissible boundaries of conduct are relatively clear, to a subjective standard where the permissibility of your conduct is determined after the fact by whoever might be offended, annoyed, or otherwise disapproves of what we do. I call it “tort anarchy” and it represents degradation of the rule of law of the worst sort. This sort of law has pernicious societal and economic effects.

    Like

    • bunkerville Says:

      Thanks CT for your response. So much for the “living document” we call the Constitution. Of course the courts can rule “you will know what it is when you see it”. That is how we went down the pornography road.

      Like

  3. silverfiddle Says:

    It’s unconstitutional, and hopefully we’ll see a test case soon.

    Like

    • bunkerville Says:

      Yes indeed. But it is concerning that this mindset exists in this State.

      Like

  4. Conservatives on Fire Says:

    Is it possible I missed the part of our Constitution where it says we have the right not to be offended? If this idea spreads unchallenged it could be big job creator. We are going to need a lot more prison space.

    Like

    • Bunkerville Says:

      I am really starting to doubt we will make it to 2012. It must be something in the drinking water. For Tenn, of all places, to do this is indeed alarming.

      Like

  5. Always On Watch Says:

    Thanks for linking, Bunkerville.

    I have to tell you that this story is real jaw dropper. In Tennessee, of all places! Tennesseeans used to have a tradition of having a thick skin.

    Like

    • bunkerville Says:

      The muslims must be moving in…

      Like

      • Otis P. Driftwood Says:

        The muslims have already moved in. BUT – there should be another side to this. Pictures of Profit Mohammed offend me. Pictures of dirty, unkempt, flea-ridden beards offend me. Pictures of signs advocating sharia ‘law’ offend me. Do you think anybody will care?

        Like

      • Bunkerville Says:

        I don’t get what the impetus was for this. Waiting to hear.

        Like


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