Last Updated: 12:59 AM, May 25, 2012
Posted: 12:59 AM, May 25, 2012
Lawmakers in Albany are promoting a bill to combat cyber-bullying by trying to force anonymous posters off the Web.
Under the proposed “Internet Protection Act,” Web-site administrators would have to provide posters’ contact information.
If the victim of an offending post complains, the site would be required to delete it or have the poster reveal his or her identity.
State Sen. Thomas O’Mara (R-Big Flats) introduced the bill earlier this month, calling cyber-bullying “one of the great tragedies of the Internet age.”
He said the legislation would help prevent “anonymous criminals from hiding behind modern technology and using the Internet to bully, defame and harass their victims.”
O’Mara cited surveys finding that about 40 percent of students have been victims of cyber-bullying.
Critics called the bill unworkable and a threat to First Amendment rights.
The legislation, now before committees in the Senate and the Assembly, would cover anonymous postings on social media, blogs, forums, message boards “or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.”