Archive for ‘The Law’

January 21, 2011

Texas hizzouse goes social.

I just HAD to share this article.

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Legislation Gets Social Media Presence

by Emily Ramshaw, The Texas Tribune
January 18, 2011

Your newest Facebook friend and your latest Twitter follower could be an inanimate object: a House bill.

House Joint Resolution 51 — Rep. Wayne Christian’s anti-health care reform measure to allow Texans to go without health insurance without a penalty — hasn’t even had a committee hearing. It was only filed Jan. 4. But it’s already got 111 Facebook friends and hundreds of Twitter followers — not too shabby for a 278-word bill.

In the span of a single biennium, many lawmakers have boosted their online credentials, establishing Facebook pages and persistent Twitter threads. But as far as we can tell, this is the first time a Texas bill has had its own social media presence. As lawmakers scramble to push their pet legislation through jam-packed committees, expect an increased reliance on social media tools, to rally their troops and put public pressure on their colleagues.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://trib.it/fgU8OW.

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Not sure how the addition of the social element is going to help a piece of legislature move along (other than creating buzz about it); but if this opens the gates to more citizen engagement in the legislative process it would be wonderful. So far, the Facebook page is mostly one-way conversation. It will be interesting to see if how this evolves and if other bills will set up an online presence as well.

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January 3, 2011

The end of an era?

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:

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