Arizona Legislature PULLS BACK Electronic Speech Censorship Bill. Trolling Wins!

Last week we all got speaking about the Arizona bill  that could land people in jail for trolling, and the slippery slope such a little piece of law could present. The buzz buzzed!, and no the bill is getting pulled back.


ABC 15, an Arizona affiliate  is reporting  that a sweeping electronic media censorship bill passed by the state’s legislature last week and headed to Governor Jan Brewer’s desk for signature has been pulled back in the wake of public outcry. Last week,  CBLDF called attention to the bill  and its constitutional deficiencies, helping to spark a wave of media coverage that turned the tide against the bill.

Lawmakers intended the law to protect people from online stalkers and bullies, but the law was so broadly worded that it would apply to the internet as a whole, not one-to-one communications, and the legislation does a poor job of defining the material that would run afoul of the law. As a result, anyone posting constitutionally-protected material could face charges if an individual deemed the material was intended to “annoy,” “offend,” “harass,” or “terrify.”


While going through the legislature, the bill garnered little notice from the press. After the release of the Media Coalition letter, other outlets picked up on the story, including  Time,MSNBC,  Yahoo,  Digital Media Wire,  Gizmodo, and many more.

CBLDF recognized that the law could create vulnerabilities for cartoonists and publishers. Beyond the example of the Mohammad cartoons listed in the Media Coalition letter, the taboo-pushing work of cartoonists like R. Crumb, Johnny Ryan, and Ivan Brunetti would potentially be vulnerable to prosecution, as could incendiary works such as Frank Miller’s  Holy Terror  and Dave Sim’s  Cerebus.

There you go! CBLDF makin’ moves, gettin’ shit done.