Tennessee recently enacted legislation making it a crime to post images online that viewers find "emotionally distressing." Legal analysts think the law has serious constitutional problems.
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If a court decides you “should have known” that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
If you think that sounds unconstitutional, you’re not alone. In a blog post, constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh points out just how broad the legislation is. The law doesn’t require that the picture be of the “victim,” nor would the government need to prove that you intended the image to be distressing.
The government can get access to “images or communications” posted to a social networking site by offering “specific and articulable facts,” suggesting that the information sought is “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.”
This legislation might be well intentioned but the scope is obviously too broad.