Have you ever been so grossly offended by your Facebook friends’ daily blitzes of really obvious opinions (“I hate when I lose stuff!”) or their live-blogging of their kids’ every move (“Here’s Jenny breathing!”) that you wish they’d face legal repercussions?
Well, in Grenada, social media users who offend others can now be fined — or even end up in prison. Legislators approved a bill that officially makes it a crime to offend people on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the Associated Press reports. But alas, providing too many mundane personal details or “oversharenting” wouldn’t exactly be enough to warrant a crime. The lawmakers are more focused on punishing users who slander companies or individuals.
If you’re wondering how this will work: complaints about any potentially offensive comments will be filed with the police, and then a judge will ultimately decide if the message was indeed offensive. Depending on the severity, the poster could be fined up to $37,000 or face three years in jail.
The measure is part of a larger bill that addresses electronic stalking, cyber theft and the distribution of child pornography. But as far as crimes go, those are all usual suspects. Punishing offensive messages on social media is newer territory. And who knows? If the new law ends up working out and really curbing online slander, maybe lawmakers will eventually get around to punishing oversharers and constant complainers, too.