The New Year started with a bang by dealing a major blow to freedom of speech. While we all sleep soundly, one of the four pillars of Internet Fun is under threat of demolition.
“California’s SB 1411, which adds a layer of criminal and civil penalties for certain online impersonations” went into effect on January 1, 2011. Similar laws in other states will probably follow suit at some point.
While this may be a victory for high school kids who worry about bullies impersonating them online, it is painfully obvious that lawmakers overlooked the dramatic impact this piece of legislation would have on the Twittersphere.
Some of the most interesting and witty Twitter accounts are online impersonations. Here is a small sample of what SB 1411 threatens to TAKE AWAY from us:
- BPGlobalPR (BP Public Relations): “Think locally, act locally- if you don’t live near the Gulf of Mexico, get on with your life. #bpcares” and “We’ve eliminated the huge turtle surplus in the gulf. Next on our list: dolphins, whales, and reporters.“
- Dan Beebe (Big XII Conference Commissioner): “Okay, Big XII. We have three days to raise $11 million to keep Nebraska in the conference. CAR WASH TIME!“
- jesus (Jesus Christ): Someone just left three french hens on my doorstep…. wow. It starts ‘after’ my birthday you fool.
Hear that low and heartbreaking sound? That’s the Internet slowly dying.