The big state of Texas is ready to take on the latest reports of “online harassment” by passing a bill this week to curb cyberbullying and make it a felony to create a fake profile on social media networking websites that intend to “harm, defraud, intimidate, or threaten” other users.
The impact of phony social media profiles has received a lot of attention over the last few months, especially with the phenomenal growth of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, recently filed a lawsuit against Twitter after a phony profile alledging to be LaRussa posted derogatory tweets concerning a 2007 drunk driving arrest.
Other celebrities, including Kanye West and Ewan McGregor have also complained about individuals using their name and image for unauthorized social media profiles.
There is some concern however, that the Texas cyberbullying law may be overturned due to constitutionally protected Free Speech issues and the difficulty to distinguish social media websites from other online forums.
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