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Posted: 3/14/2006 3:19:08 PM EDT
...it's funny how people get in a position of power and think they know it all.

That's why we have Moderators!



HH

----------------------------------------------------

Internet Backlash Stalls Jersey Civility Bill

A New Jersey lawmaker's attempt to legislate civility on an Internet discussion board runs into a wall of opposition from bloggers and others who saw it as an attempt to stifle free speech.

By K.C. Jones


Mar 14, 2006 04:04 PM

A New Jersey Assemblyman's Internet civility bill is on ice since opponents blasted it as an assault on free speech.

Assemblyman Peter Biondi and his staff said they were trying to curb malicious exchanges on some local discussion boards when they introduced a bill requiring people to provide their real names and addresses before posting on public Web sites. The bill also stated that hosts could be sued for failing to disclose the identities of people disseminating false or defamatory information.

Biondi's staff drafted the measure late last year. In was introduced in January. The bill hadn't even made it to committee before a small weekly newspaper published an article about it and Internet news providers began spreading the word. Then, callers from as far away as Canada deluged Biondi's office with complaints.

"For a bill that's basically one of 45 just sitting there to be picked out – and for people in Portland, Oregon and Canadian broadcasters to be calling about it – it's a little bizarre," Biondi's Chief of Staff Scott Ross said during an interview. "For something that's not even on the radar screen in Trenton, it's incredible. It's definitely a first for us. It hit the Drudge Report and it was like 'Holy moly!"

Ross said that Biondi and his staff were responding to requests from local constituents who complained about the viciousness of local discussion boards littered with name-calling. They were shocked that the bill – drafted to bring decorum to Internet discussions – drew an intense response from Internet users far beyond the Garden State's boundaries.

"We veered out of our comfort zone with this one," Ross said. "We're usually open space, quality-of-life kind of guys. We veered into technology and we were pretty much taken off guard when got hit with a couple hundred e-mails last week."

BuzzMachine blogger and journalist Jeff Jarvis said he is proud to have started the forums that prompted Biondi to introduce the "stupidest legislation in memory."

Critics said the law would be unconstitutional and impossible to enforce. Ross said he can see things from their perspective, but he still believes people should maintain civility online.

"You could be talking to your neighbor and not even know it," he said.

Biondi is anticipating a legal opinion from his state legislature's nonpartisan research division by the end of this week.

Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:21:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HoustonHusker:
...it's funny how people get in a position of power and think they know it all.

That's why we have Moderators!



HH

----------------------------------------------------

Internet Backlash Stalls Jersey Civility Bill

A New Jersey lawmaker's attempt to legislate civility on an Internet discussion board runs into a wall of opposition from bloggers and others who saw it as an attempt to stifle free speech.

By K.C. Jones


Mar 14, 2006 04:04 PM

A New Jersey Assemblyman's Internet civility bill is on ice since opponents blasted it as an assault on free speech.

Assemblyman Peter Biondi and his staff said they were trying to curb malicious exchanges on some local discussion boards when they introduced a bill requiring people to provide their real names and addresses before posting on public Web sites. The bill also stated that hosts could be sued for failing to disclose the identities of people disseminating false or defamatory information.

Biondi's staff drafted the measure late last year. In was introduced in January. The bill hadn't even made it to committee before a small weekly newspaper published an article about it and Internet news providers began spreading the word. Then, callers from as far away as Canada deluged Biondi's office with complaints.

"For a bill that's basically one of 45 just sitting there to be picked out – and for people in Portland, Oregon and Canadian broadcasters to be calling about it – it's a little bizarre," Biondi's Chief of Staff Scott Ross said during an interview. "For something that's not even on the radar screen in Trenton, it's incredible. It's definitely a first for us. It hit the Drudge Report and it was like 'Holy moly!"

Ross said that Biondi and his staff were responding to requests from local constituents who complained about the viciousness of local discussion boards littered with name-calling. They were shocked that the bill – drafted to bring decorum to Internet discussions – drew an intense response from Internet users far beyond the Garden State's boundaries.

"We veered out of our comfort zone with this one," Ross said. "We're usually open space, quality-of-life kind of guys. We veered into technology and we were pretty much taken off guard when got hit with a couple hundred e-mails last week."

BuzzMachine blogger and journalist Jeff Jarvis said he is proud to have started the forums that prompted Biondi to introduce the "stupidest legislation in memory."

Critics said the law would be unconstitutional and impossible to enforce. Ross said he can see things from their perspective, but he still believes people should maintain civility online.

"You could be talking to your neighbor and not even know it," he said.

Biondi is anticipating a legal opinion from his state legislature's nonpartisan research division by the end of this week.



YES!
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:21:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 3:22:09 PM EDT by Wobblin-Goblin]
Ahhh. Behold the power of the internet. We should take notice.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:24:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By deej86:
Originally Posted By HoustonHusker:
...it's funny how people get in a position of power and think they know it all.

That's why we have Moderators!



HH


YES!

deej, check out this quote:

"For something that's not even on the radar screen in Trenton, it's incredible. It's definitely a first for us. It hit the Drudge Report and it was like 'Holy moly!"

...and some people ridicule Matt!



HH
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:24:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
Ahhh. Behold the power of the internet. We should take notice.



Yup. Pay particular attention to how they reacted to people outside of their voting district. Rather than dismiss them like we always figure they would, it actually gave them pause. It let them know that this must be REALLY important, if people in Canada actually took the time to write them about it.

We should be taking notes.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:27:49 PM EDT
It would also probably be unconstitutional because the laws of New Jersey do not apply to citizens of other States.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:39:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2006 3:39:52 PM EDT by leelaw]

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
Yup. Pay particular attention to how they reacted to people outside of their voting district. Rather than dismiss them like we always figure they would, it actually gave them pause. It let them know that this must be REALLY important, if people in Canada actually took the time to write them about it.

We should be taking notes.



Interesting how outside opinion can make lawmakers rethink their BS propositions. It's nice to see that people who wouldn't have been effected by this legislaiton didn't just say "they voted those douchebags into office and deserve everything they get."

Link Posted: 3/14/2006 3:43:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leelaw:

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
Yup. Pay particular attention to how they reacted to people outside of their voting district. Rather than dismiss them like we always figure they would, it actually gave them pause. It let them know that this must be REALLY important, if people in Canada actually took the time to write them about it.

We should be taking notes.



Interesting how outside opinion can make lawmakers rethink their BS propositions. It's nice to see that people who wouldn't have been effected by this legislaiton didn't just say "they voted those douchebags into office and deserve everything they get."




Exactly, and as a former Californian I know it sure would have been nice to get the support of guys in other states. Gun owners are kind of a minority in California, and it sucks. It sucks even more when the rest of the country says you get what you deserve, and it's your own damn fault for staying.
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