If I lived in Tennessee I’d be in jail because of SEB.

Apparently Tennessee is full of pansy-assed pussies that can’t handle having their delicate sensibilities offended:

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines.

[…] The ban on distressing images, which was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, is also an update to existing law. Tennessee law already made it a crime to make phone calls, send emails, or otherwise communicate directly with someone in a manner the sender “reasonably should know” would “cause emotional distress” to the recipient. If the communciation lacked a “legitimate purpose,” the sender faced jail time.

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But for image postings, the “emotionally distressed” individual need not be the intended recipientAnyone who sees the image is a potential victim. 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.

via Tenn. law bans posting images that “cause emotional distress”.

Considering that much of what I write and say is offensive to someone out on the Internet I’d be in serious trouble if I lived in Tennessee. Especially given my fondness for images like this:

I don’t generally have any particular state of the union in mind when I post stuff like that, but if you live in Tennessee then I can understand how you might find such an image distressing because there’s a pretty good chance it applies to you.

Or perhaps you’d be more upset at something like this:

I’m sorry, I can’t help it. The look on Jesus’ face is just too damned funny not to laugh at. Sure, I can see how these might be upsetting to the more delicate natures of Tennessee residents, but then they probably shouldn’t be hanging out on SEB to begin with if they’re so thin-skinned.

Not that I’m too worried about this law. I seriously doubt it would stand up to a Constitutional challenge in court. And it’s not like I have much of a desire to visit or reside in Tennessee anytime soon. I don’t generally have a problem with Tennessee, at least not until they passed this idiotic law, I honestly just don’t think about the state that much.

Though if you are from Tennessee and you have been offended by things I’ve posted or written about here on SEB, then please allow me to say, in all sincerity and from the bottom of my heart, with all the love and warmth I can muster: Fuck you.

18 thoughts on “If I lived in Tennessee I’d be in jail because of SEB.

  1. Hearing that gov’t officials are passing bullshit unconstitutional laws like this causes emotional distress for me. Can I sue the Tennessee legislature?

  2. The big concern I have is the possibility that someone in Tennessee could file suit in Tennessee court against you where ever you might be for anything you posted anywhere on the internet. In a way that is what happened with Dr. Paul Offit earlier this year when one of the anti-vax crowd sued him for libel. They filed suit in Maryland courts because the anti-vaxer had an office there and Maryland has a much lower standard of evidence for libel than the home state of either the complainant or the defendant.

  3. @Artor: it would be more fun if, by complaining, you could have them all arrested.

    @Les: how many conservative judicial appointments are we away from the First Amendment basically having no meaning any more?

  4. DOF:

    You say First Amendment like it meant freedom to say something that does not PLEASE the King, uhhh, the Dictator, uhh, the State.

    😉 😆

    Peace.

  5. Offense! I cry Offense Sir! lol

    Yay! We made the national news for our politicians stupidity….again.

    Guns in bars, talk of creationism and bible class in public school, Teachers don’t you dare talk about gay folks to kids, etc. I absolutely adore when my tax dollars are wasted on such trivial shit. >_<

    Yes, feel sorry for me I was born here, live here and will most likely die here. But I have found a wonderful group of fellow heathens with which to rant and rave and protest stupid things till such a time comes.

    Too bad this law doesn't work with people distressing you in person. I am sure their are lost of wonderful god fearing and heathen folk alike that would love to sue one crazy ass fire and brimstone family (and no it is not westboro, these folks are much worse IMHO) that have stopped in our fair little capital. They aren't sending out emails just blocking your path, screaming in your face purposely trying to distress you by calling you a plethora of vile words and then macing your ass if you touch them, even just to push their crazy ass away from you. But alas apparently only offending folks over the internet is jail worthy to our legislators.

    Now off to see who I can can get in trouble for annoying me…oh excuse me, distressing me… with their overzealous god infused emails.

  6. Another Tennessean here, and I can’t wait for the court challenges to this and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill to turn up. Hopefully they’ll make the news a little more interesting for a while.

  7. Don’t feel too bad Imp, we got our share of stupidity here in Michigan as well. It’s a universal problem it seems. This just gave me a chance to playfully nudge Tennessee.

  8. I would sort of assume that they would make an exception for the gruesome images used in antiabortion campaigns and the like. Of course, there are people who might be frightened or emotionally distressed by photos of snakes or spiders. If the law isn’t declared unconstitutional, it will only be because nobody ever tries to enforce it, because as soon as someone were charged, it would almost certainly be challenged and declared unconstitutional.

  9. If you live in Tennessee and are disgusted by Biblical imagery of genocide and rape, will the Bible be banned?

    What if you are emotionally distressed by Elvis?

  10. “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” What the hell does THAT mean? What qualifies and who decides it? Am I guilty because I’m into dog rescue and sent out an email yesterday begging for donations for a dog whose owner shot it in the head and dumped it on a lady’s lawn. The photos of the injury are certain to cause “emotional distress” to anyone who views them. Maybe they would “frighten” someone too. The “stop dog fighting” and “end puppy mills” emails I pass along might “intimidate” the human garbage involved in it. And, of course, the humor I send out wouldn’t pass muster either. I hope someone challenges this idiot law very soon and we get back to being “the land of the Free.”

  11. Well then, every single image from the 9/11 attacks could not be shown if I lived in TN. I lost a loved one that day, and anyone with the least amount of sense should reasonably expect that survivors find those images extremely emotionally distressing.

    Oh wait. The world revolves around the *sun*, not me, right?

  12. Actually, I believe in Tennessee the sun revolves around the world. You know, Bible infallible and all that crap.

    😉 😆

    Peace.

  13. When I first started this response, I was going to say that I didn’t mind too much when politicians created bills like this, so long as they go die in committee. Both sides do this in the endless game called “Partisan Politics.”

    But actually, I do mind. Because then you get things like this passing. And eventually, you’ll get courts that let them through.

    And I mind that a lot.

  14. Lawmakers pass laws like this; and you question your intelligence?!?
    I’m not sure who’s the dimmer bulb, the lawmakers or the voters who voted for them.

  15. Brandt, it’ll be interesting to see what happens if your artwork catches the eye of the Governor. Though knowing the history of Republicans and sex, he’s probably more likely to buy it off you than charge you under the new state law. 😉

  16. When I lived in TN, (I was born and raised there but moved ASAP) I was emotionally distressed and deeply disturbed by some fundie Christian hate sites that had drawn depictions of Pagans/witches/Wiccans killing babies and then eating them (I landed on them by accident…boy was I ever sorry I clicked!). Even to this day all these years later they turn my stomach and disgust me.

    Do you think that I can sue?

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