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Maryland Tops Off Awful Cyberbullying Law With Direct Line To Facebook To Remove Content 'Without S

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posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 01:35 AM
link -societal-value.shtml

So it seems Facebook has teamed up with Maryland to attempt to quell free speech.

On Tuesday, the new law took effect, and this morning Maryland attorney general Douglas Gansler unveiled a joint initiative with Facebook and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) in which Facebook will create a new program for school officials, the Educator Escalation Channel — initially limited to use in the state of Maryland, presumably pending similar enactments elsewhere — allowing the officials to object to Facebook users’ content. Per local radio station WTOP, Maryland school officials will be offered the chance to flag “questionable or prohibited” language. That is to say, they will flag speech that isn’t prohibited by the new law but which they deem “questionable.” The targets of the new program, according to Gansler as quoted by WTOP, include persons who are “not committing a crime… We’re not going to go after you, but we are going to take down the language off of Facebook, because there’s no redeeming societal value and it’s clearly hurting somebody.” That is to say, Gansler believes he has negotiated power for school officials to go after speech that is not unlawful even under the decidedly speech-unfriendly definitions of the new Maryland law, but which they consider hurtful and lacking in “redeeming societal value.”

This is after Maryland passed a law to try to curb cyberbullying. It makes it criminal to "electronically annoy" a minor. In another article on techdirt about the law itself, they made this point:

hile electronic annoyance of an adult becomes criminal only if it continues after a request to stop, no such triggering provision is included for behavior that may annoy a minor. (And as I read it, there is no requirement that the defendant know that the person being subjected to intentional emotional distress is a minor — engaging in a vigorous “flame war” with a Maryland resident might turn out to be criminal if the username “ParentInLinthicum” turns out to conceal a teenage user.) Exceptions are made for speech that is intended to express political views or convey information, a curious pair of exemptions in that it has long been assumed that our First Amendment protects many types of seriously annoying speech other than those two. html

So now they have gone one step further, and schools are going to be able to censor things they don't like the students saying, whether it breaks this draconian law or not. And there's pats on the back all around, what a great thing they've done, we will protect the children from each other by controlling what they are allowed to say on a public worldwide forum outside of school grounds where we really have no authority at all...

To me, this is the same thing as the whole hate speech argument. You can't legislate away hate, you can't legislate away bullying. All you do is take away what little remains of our freedom of speech. "You hurt my feelings" is NOT a good enough reason to be able to censor what people say. All around us you see these new laws being abused, from Chik-Fil-A being labeled a hate group for the crime of supporting traditional marriage (I guess we're not allowed to even have opinions any more) to the obvious double standard of using the n-word not being okay, but saying cracker is. Now they are legislating that saying something that hurts a teens feelings is criminal.


How long before someone decides to use this argument to say "My parents hurt my feelings, they say I'm a bad kid because I won't follow their rules or clean my room, and when they say they won't buy me a car till I get my grades up it makes me feel stupid..."

So I throw this out to you ATS. What do you think?

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 01:44 AM
When does this go in effect?

They can call anything bullying??

A good debate might be considered bullying to the loser of the debate!!

That's it, No Minors allowed on the interwebz!!


I got a strange call about web site rating system, and a tricky press 9 petition for it!

Was a rigged poll and petition with 4 questions. Very tricky it was..
edit on 9-10-2013 by AbleEndangered because: addition and format

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 01:48 AM
reply to post by QuantumCypher

So wait, this means I can't say anything online any more. After all, I might say "Hi, what's up?" to someone online, and it might annoy them, and they might be a minor in Maryland.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 01:52 AM
reply to post by QuantumCypher

Seems the U.S. is going the same way as the U.K. when it comes to free speech (or lack there of). Here, in the U.S., it always has to start with "protecting the children". I know the U.K. has (or was supposed to) lightened up a bit on what is acceptable, but I see the U.S. headed for the same debates.

What a sissified world my son will be brought up in . . . oops . . . no offense intended for any self-proclaimed sissys out there.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 01:59 AM

This is after Maryland passed a law to try to curb cyberbullying. It makes it criminal to "electronically annoy" a minor.

So I throw this out to you ATS. What do you think?

Officially now, my ATS signature is "A Minor in Maryland"

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 02:36 AM
reply to post by QuantumCypher

A law to outlaw being annoying?

I fear nothing... NOTHING !!!!!!


do these clowns not realise that it is already in the T&C of FB that thou shalt not be nasty to people nor harrass them in any manner? Like, you know, stfu and gtfo my facebooks??

This is a little like making drinking milk a crime, because no one enforces murder laws and all murderers drink milk.

I blame zuckerberg for ALL of this.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 03:02 AM
what is going with people in this world....I have always been a little confused by cyber bullying....people do have a choice whether or not they read the crap in the first I take from this people are so addicted to face book and alike they have to read whatever gets posted and if entails bullying they will cry and harm themselves.....sheeesh....

I have a better idea maybe they can make it a crime to like other peoples comments....better yet if people post some garbage like they are going to the shops,or they just finished eating breakfast they should be arrested and while you at it arrest those for liking it ...simply for inciting boredom and monotonous stupidity....

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 05:04 AM
reply to post by hopenotfeariswhatweneed

Nah, I think there is a very real problem of cyber stalking/bullying on the net. But these laws and policies will do absolutely nothing to stop the inbred miscreants that engage in such behaviour. If anything, bypassing the laws/policies, skipping over the barriers and sticking a cream pie right on their intended target will cause motivation for even MORE problems.

The idiots who make laws are idiots that live outside of reality. Always...

Think about it this way. As sad as it is, there are kids out there who do suffer from peer group pressure. They are incapable of feeling things without others telling them what or how. And they seek self acceptance via things like facebook and so on. They are young and impresionable, innocent and naive.

So when a group of wankers targets them and calls them fat, stupid, lazy, ugly, make fun of their name, etc etc... these kids really suffer.. as stupid as you or I may find it. They do.

Really some of the things I've heard make me want to hunt down some imbeciles and punch their lights out.. And it's easy to say "just log off neerrrr!" or similar, but this is cyborg country. These kids are lost when the power goes out. Leggos are what make star wars..

In my mind, it's the parents responsibility to teach their kids that these people, these little monsters, are nothing. It's their job to look after their kids. If there was a group of bullies hanging outside the kids window on the street, yelling obscenities into their house, then they could call the police...

But you don't make laws that say "any kid standing on a street corner and looking at your house can be charged with bullying."

Gah I dunno.. it's just so dumb. Its not as if the parents are not capable of protecting their kids. It surely cannot be... they just don't really seem bothered. And that's what should be a crime.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 05:20 AM
What do I think?
Die Facebook, die.
The singularly greatest waste of time ever invented by man.
Roughly the equivalent of harnessing a cat and putting a bell dangling in it's face just out of reach.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 06:17 AM
reply to post by winofiend

fair enough I wasn't thinking along those lines...i have forgotten what it is like to be young and as an after thought perhaps there is a hacker out there kind enough to run some sort of program that identifies these bullies.....,post their names and addresses online with a description of their bullying so the parents can be named and shamed into acting...and if that doesn't work well a b#tch slapping might be in order...

my kids have yet to reach an age (although my daughter is getting close) to be bullied like that....only time will tell how I will react to the situation but one thing is for sure I will not idly sit by and let it happen

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by QuantumCypher

I do not think it is any business of the schools or law enforcement. Bullying happens and it happens all through life.

I find it completely ironic that MARYLAND of all places is doing this when they have a much bigger BULLYING problem they are not addressing. One that makes me FLAMING ANGRY!

Militarized police overreach: “Oh, God, I thought they were going to shoot me next”

This is the follow up on the swat team raid of a Maryland mayor where they broke into his house without a warrant put a gun to the head of his elderly mother and shot his dogs while the poor dogs fled. The family was held at gun point for four hours and the dogs blood tracked through the entire house while it was ripped a part.

...the lies, obfuscations, and stonewalling were only beginning.

The police department would first claim that they had obtained a no-knock warrant for the raid. They then backtracked and blamed Calvo’s mother-in-law, arguing that when her scream blew their cover, they were no longer obligated to knock and announce themselves. (This was an interesting theory, given that the knock-and-announce requirement, by definition, would have required them to blow their own cover. That’s the point of the requirement.) Maj. Mark Magaw, commander of the Prince George’s County narcotics enforcement division, claimed that the SWAT team couldn’t have obtained a no-knock warrant if they had wanted to, because the state of Maryland doesn’t allow them. This too was false....

The whole situation was BULLYING and nothing else. Here is why

On August 7, police arrested a FedEx driver and an accomplice and charged them with various crimes related to drug trafficking. Trinity Tomsic was never supposed to receive that package of marijuana. A drug distributor in Arizona had used her address to get the package into the general Prince George’s County area, at which point an accomplice working for the delivery company was supposed to intercept it. The police had found several similar packages. Worse, county police knew the scheme was going on and knew some packages had been delivered to residences unbeknownst to the people who lived in them....

“Defense lawyers who practice in the county said authorities appear to arrest and charge anyone who picks up a package containing marijuana without conducting a further investigation,” the Post reported. “The more I think about that, the angrier I get,” Calvo later told Post columnist Marc Fisher. “They knew this scheme was going on, yet it never occurred to them from the moment they found out about that package that we were anything but drug dealers.” ....

But don't expect the police to appologize or admit wrong doing.

...even more baffling, officials continued to insist that the raid shouldn’t have happened any other way. Even as they acknowledged that Calvo and his family were innocent, in the months and years following the raid they would repeat again and again that not a single officer did anything wrong, and that no one had any reason for remorse. In 2010 Sheriff Michael Jackson was asked during his campaign for Prince George’s County executive if he had any regrets about the raid. His response: “Quite frankly, we’d do it again. Tonight.”...

And it gets even worse.

...Even when Chief High called Calvo to tell him that he had been cleared of any criminal suspicion, High made sure to explicitly tell the mayor that the call should not be interpreted as an apology. The statements from county officials over the next several months were also astonishingly callous. A day after he called Calvo, High told the press that the raiding cops showed “restraint and compassion” and insisted that they should be credited for not arresting Calvo or members of his family. (The only incriminating evidence found in the home was the unopened box of marijuana that the deputies themselves had delivered.)


...As Calvo himself pointed out on several occasions, this isn’t a problem that can be laid at the feet of the police officers who raided his home. This problem can’t be fixed by firing the police involved. This is a political problem. It’s a policy problem....

Someone sent him a copy of “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America,” the paper on police militarization I had written....

Calvo then began reading up on the case law behind these raids. Within a few weeks, the charismatic, accessible small-town mayor had become a compelling advocate for reform... in September 2008. As Calvo spoke about what he had gone through—and particularly about his dogs, and how angry he was that the police tried to blame the dogs for their own deaths—about a fourth of the audience was in tears....

“The reality is that this happens all the time in this country, and disproportionately in Prince George’s County,”

Mayor Calvo started to hear from other victims and decided to do something.

Armed with these incidents, Calvo went to the Maryland legislature to push for reform. The bill he proposed was modest. It required every police agency in Maryland with a SWAT team to issue a quarterly report—later amended to twice yearly—on how many times the team was deployed, for what purpose, and whether any shots were fired during the raid. It was a simple transparency bill. It put no limits or restrictions on how often or under what circumstances SWAT teams could be used

Yet it was the only bill of its kind in the country. And it was opposed by every police organization in the state. One Maryland lawmaker attempted to amend the bill to prohibit the use of SWAT teams in cases involving known misdemeanors, a seemingly reasonable restriction. That measure was rejected after more lobbying from police groups.....

So what was the results of this simple record keeping law?

For the last half of 2009, SWAT teams were deployed 804 times in the state of Maryland, or about 4.5 times a day. .... According to an analysis by the Baltimore Sun, 94 percent of the state’s SWAT deployments were to serve search or arrest warrants, leaving just 6 percent that were raids involving barricades, bank robberies, hostage takings, and other emergency situations.

This raid happened in 2004 and the data on the swat raids on ordinary people, has been available since 2009. Innocent people who have been murdered by police who are out of control - “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

THIS problem of police bullying is staring Maryland in the face and they have the GALL to pass that idiotic bill instead of addressing a real life threatening bullying problem!?!

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 08:47 AM
reply to post by AbleEndangered

It went live 4 days ago.

And the system isn't just being used to prevent bullying. From the OP:

That is to say, Gansler believes he has negotiated power for school officials to go after speech that is not unlawful even under the decidedly speech-unfriendly definitions of the new Maryland law, but which they consider hurtful and lacking in “redeeming societal value.”

I have read a few articles about school's starting to monitor students facebook accounts, for the sake of "preventing bullying and watching for signs of suicidal behavior." TO me, this is just a thin veneer to cover a decidedly Orwellian tactic, infringing on free speech rights by the simple fact students now know not only is the NSA watching everything they say and do, but so is Mrs. Johnson, the homeroom teacher.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 09:25 AM
reply to post by Ameilia

Basically, legally speaking that looks like how it's playing out. I'm wondering what jurisdiction issues are going to come up with this? What if someone in Zimbabwe insults some kid in Maryland? And before anyone comes rushing up claiming that that's an absurd interpretation and implementation of the law, we are seeing absurd lawsuits and prosecutions all over the place now.

This law in and of itself is an absurd implementation.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 09:28 AM
reply to post by solomons path

They prefer the term metrosexual now, and your hate filled speech has been reported. This is what this law is about, protecting the sensibilities of impressionable youths so that no one is allowed to puncture the bubble of self importance, and they are raised knowing that saying things that hurt someones feelings, even if it happens to be the truth, is AGAINST THE LAW.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 09:37 AM
reply to post by winofiend

While I'm not fond of (S)uckerberg, (ooh, please don't report me to the feelings police), it's only building on an already outrageously absurd law. And something tells me it wasn't something he offered, it was something sought out by the state of Maryland. Granted, he didn't HAVE to comply, but think about what a good PR move this is...

Of course, I also think with this and some of the other stuff Facebook has pulled that all they're really doing is making the next social media site look better and better, and when it comes along people will be flocking away from it in droves, and send Facebook the way of MySpace. At least I can hope anyway.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 09:59 AM
Just another example of the Gov whipping this asses with the constitution.

People that support this sort of law make me sick.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 10:04 AM
reply to post by winofiend

I was SEVERELY bullied as a kid. We were poor. Moved around a lot, so never made any friends that I was able to keep. I had a bald spot by 7th grade. I wore glasses, which were always duct taped and superglued together. At my 11th birthday party, a bunch of the kids gave me pieces of paper, cut up like monopoly money, with "Food Stamps" written on it. I read comic books in school, WAY before they were cool.
It taught me to be self reliant, how to take a beating without showing any pain, and that most people are jerks. It taught me to develop my intellect in a way that allowed me to analyze and point out the flaws in the bullies (which only led to more beatings). It showed me at an early age that even when they disagree with it, most people go along with the crowd, and what a horrible way being a sheep is to live. I even had a teacher in high school who verbally bullied me, till one day I decided I wasn't going to take it from her anymore and dressed her down in front of her entire class. She slapped me in the face, and *I* was the one who got in school suspension.
My pre-20 years were HELL. But it made me stronger, made my ability to think for myself and NOT follow the crowd a weapon. And yet I am one of the staunchest opponents of the anti-bully laws, because they do NOTHING to stop the problem, it only gets innocents caught in the crossfire of "public interest."
It's sad that some people got hurt to the point where they felt they couldn't take it anymore. But when you put up a public profile on the internet to blast out your most inane ideas and thoughts, you can't truly expect that the only things people have to say are going to be nice. You can't expect to put up bathroom mirror "selfie" pics and not expect somebody to point out you have a fat ass.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 10:36 AM
reply to post by crimvelvet

Wow. Just wow. I think that deserves a thread of it's own.
But remember, it's not bullying if you have a badge.

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