New Zealand Makes Cyberbullying A Crime

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It is now a crime in New Zealand to send a person an e-mail containing "racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability." On a related note, e-mail traffic is down by 95% in New Zealand. ;)

New Zealand has passed a law that criminalizes one of the least desirable facets of the internet: cyberbullying. The legislation effectively prohibits sending messages to people that are racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability. The rest for determining harm will be if these communications were designed to cause "serious emotional distress," and if a person is found guilty, could face up to two years in jail.
 

Pongo

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Conversely, maybe if you don't want to be harassed don't give jerks your personal email or use a throw away account.

This may be an unpopular opinion, maybe people need thicker spines? I survived highschool being called various names, I didn't really care. Sticks and stones,etc.
 

flegg

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Actually not as bad as it sounds considering they are limiting it to only things a person can't change. "racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability."
 

Bigbacon

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Conversely, maybe if you don't want to be harassed don't give jerks your personal email or use a throw away account.

This may be an unpopular opinion, maybe people need thicker spines? I survived highschool being called various names, I didn't really care. Sticks and stones,etc.

i think there is a big difference between name calling and what people can do now a days. Now it can be a constant attack on someones mind, they are willing to say things online they would never say to someones face. It also happens now outside of the school, 24/7.

I was bullied in school but it stayed at school. It doessn't anymore. Even if you don't give out information, they can find it, they can harass you, your siblings, parents, anyone now.
 

Pongo

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i think there is a big difference between name calling and what people can do now a days. Now it can be a constant attack on someones mind, they are willing to say things online they would never say to someones face. It also happens now outside of the school, 24/7.

I was bullied in school but it stayed at school. It doessn't anymore. Even if you don't give out information, they can find it, they can harass you, your siblings, parents, anyone now.

Yes, I'm torn on the issue. Part of me does say it's good, the other side just wonders how far we go. I'm still after 25yrs or so pretty hard to find online, I was taught way back in the 90s to never give out personal info online.

I think for repeat offenders this is good, if someone is like you say, under constant harassment. We all send drunk/angry/stupid emails to others in our lives. I'd hate to see someone get jailed because they are upset with an ex or something.
 

necrosis

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Actually not as bad as it sounds considering they are limiting it to only things a person can't change. "racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability."
You can change your religion.
 

Dekoth-E-

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So messaging someone being critical of their religion is cyberbullying in NZ? Wow.. painfully obvious which group sponsored this Nanny state bs..
 

nutzo

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Actually not as bad as it sounds considering they are limiting it to only things a person can't change. "racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability."

I'm surprised they included religion, considering that religion seems to be the only thing in the list that's fair to attack in this country.
 

Ducman69

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Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names are a federal offense.

Oh brother... who raised these children that are in office now? Its OK to be offended. Nothing happens! If someone throws a hammer at your head, that hurts! That should be illegal. If someone calls you a douchebag, just count to 10 and watch what happens around you... nothing. You're offended, great, be offended everyone has that right. That's all that will happen.

This is ridiculous.
 

Master_shake_

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politicians in new zealand i believe are fully retarded.

they're support of the TPP and this just makes it official.
 

Freebo

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[Tripod]MajorPayne;1041711602 said:
Another nail in the coffin of free speech worldwide.

"Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas."

It is not the right to personally attack or insult someone. People really fail to understand what free speech really is.
 

mullet

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Nanny State, they are making more babies by doing this. In my day we would take care of bullies the old fashion way. We all looked after one another in school it's not like that anymore, you just get a participation trophy.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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"Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas."

It is not the right to personally attack or insult someone. People really fail to understand what free speech really is.

They also mistakenly apply a concept that's mostly a United States thing as if it's universally relevant across the planet.
 

westrock2000

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We watched this show on Netflix called "The Almighty Johnsons" and listening to New Zealand people talk was interesting. They use "fuck, shit and cock" in just about every sentence. Even the girls use them leisurely. I mean the accent sounds sexy as hell, so that helps. But still I was surprised.
 

Raudulfr

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"Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas."

It is not the right to personally attack or insult someone. People really fail to understand what free speech really is.

That depends.

Are you a woman, or a homosexual, or a non-white or a member of 'that' religion? Then you can attack and insult anyone you damn please.

You should only be worried about silly things like freedom and liberties and whatnot if you are a straight white male.
 

Freebo

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That depends.

Are you a woman, or a homosexual, or a non-white or a member of 'that' religion? Then you can attack and insult anyone you damn please.

You should only be worried about silly things like freedom and liberties and whatnot if you are a straight white male.

There is no depends.

Guys this is not about freedom of speech this is about direct bullying.

Lets give an example.
Your child is getting picked on, people at their school are posting personal attacks and contently bombarding them with insults, emails, texts, facebook post and so on.... so your happy for this to go on? I'm sure you would want to do something about it.

Its not that they make babies out of this, its that they are trying to stop the babies who think its their right to bully and harass someone. Its just common courtesy which many people simply don't get anymore.

If you harass someone in person the police can do something about it, this now applies to the internet. Harassment is nothing new its just people believe because they can hide behind the internet they should be able to get away with it. It really isn't that hard to understand.
 

Freebo

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Nanny State, they are making more babies by doing this. In my day we would take care of bullies the old fashion way. We all looked after one another in school it's not like that anymore, you just get a participation trophy.

The old days was face to face, how its all hiding behind the internet like cowards. Now if you have a fight at school you could be charged with assault.
 

Bowman15

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This is about cyber bullying not your right to be an asshat, which is what most of you are arguing about.
 

Mchart

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There is no depends.

Guys this is not about freedom of speech this is about direct bullying.

Lets give an example.
Your child is getting picked on, people at their school are posting personal attacks and contently bombarding them with insults, emails, texts, facebook post and so on.... so your happy for this to go on? I'm sure you would want to do something about it.

Its not that they make babies out of this, its that they are trying to stop the babies who think its their right to bully and harass someone. Its just common courtesy which many people simply don't get anymore.

If you harass someone in person the police can do something about it, this now applies to the internet. Harassment is nothing new its just people believe because they can hide behind the internet they should be able to get away with it. It really isn't that hard to understand.

IMO kids these days are measurably worse compared to most in the 30+ age category. They are being trained to not tolerate criticism and/or bullying. They are largely worthless in the workplace and have major issues getting along with others, and can't handle any critique of their work.

Cyber bullying is a joke, and always will be to those of us who grew up before the internet became what it is today. At the end of the day it isn't real. The problem is these kids treat it as such. We should be teaching kids to not give a fuck about what people say about them online. Instead we are accomplishing the exact opposite. Kids today have no spine and it has really shown now that they are turning into 'adults' and entering the workplace.
 

pothb

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I'm surprised they included religion, considering that religion seems to be the only thing in the list that's fair to attack in this country.

How is it okay to attack people's fundamental beliefs? If they're attacking you, sure, retaliate... but just to attack people's beliefs? That's stupid.
 

sfsuphysics

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The legislation effectively prohibits sending messages to people that are racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability.
This is my largest issue with it, this is not a matter of bullying, this is a matter of making "hate speech" illegal. Now I'm not for racism, sexism, ageism, or any other isms, but I also believe that we have the right to not like a particular race, sex, religion, etc as well. So someone posts video of some ISIS guys who fire a RPG backwards and I make a comment "Stupid fucking raghead" then by default that is a crime? Where's the bullying? There isn't any bullying.

Fucking Kiwis, stick to tourism, and leave the important stuff like common sense to the rest of the world. Luckily in my country that's not a crime :)
 

Dekoth-E-

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How is it okay to attack people's fundamental beliefs? If they're attacking you, sure, retaliate... but just to attack people's beliefs? That's stupid.

I can name a list of reasons why.. but I'll stick to the minute obvious wording. It's says being critical of religion. Now I don't know about you, but there is a monumental difference in being critical and attacking someone. I'm critical of people's religion every day, but I only attack them on it when they are trying to force their stupid beliefs on my children or me. Neither of those scenarios are bullying, but now according to NZ law they both are and that's bullshit.
 
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i think there is a big difference between name calling and what people can do now a days. Now it can be a constant attack on someones mind, they are willing to say things online they would never say to someones face. It also happens now outside of the school, 24/7.

I was bullied in school but it stayed at school. It doessn't anymore. Even if you don't give out information, they can find it, they can harass you, your siblings, parents, anyone now.

Actually had a good conversation at work about this. Everyone was bullied as a kid in school. Now, you cannot get away from it. Granted, if your child is under the age of 18, they are not allowed to have a social media account of any kind without your permission. SO in essence, you are the one responsible for any abuse your child might get through social media. Honestly, i know some pretty mature kids, but not one of them is over the age of 16. If your child has a social media account(s) below that age, i personally think you are a fucking moron for allowing them to have one. If they got one without your consent, its not lawful under the social medias own ToS, but they will never verify, or have any way to verify in most cases, that information.

SOme schools have rules in place regarding email. You must have a real name email address. Like JohnDoe@whatever.com. Makes getting away from people at school after school hours a bit harder when people have your email address, or its public knowledge at the school. A lot of students work with school computers, in the offices and so on, so its easy information to get and pass on when security is as bad as it is. Hell, didnt you see the Chicago PD data dump the other day on pastebin? Salaries, addresses of cops posted up for the world to see, all in the name of "Justice". Getting personal information is easier than it was in the days of the flame wars on IRC and chat channels, because the person actually is dumb enough to give it to you in most cases.

Cyberbullying is a retarded term to begin with, most times you have no one to blame but yourselves for whatever is inflicted upon you by giving out your personal information. Im sure a lot of us were crank called back in the day from ex friends who now had a beef with us, and vice versa. For schools who have certain rules in place, it makes it that much harder to control YOUR information and YOUR privacy, and does on occasion put the problem squarely on others shoulders with no consequences for their actions at all. They seem to be protected in gathering your information, but not in protecting the privacy of that information.

The laws in new zealand, are a bit much however. They criminalize so called hate speech and abuse for cyberbullying. Something that the united states does not do. Racism and hate speech are protected under the constitution here. Just dont confuse your right to be racist and use hate speech as a means to do it at a private place, like your job, or school. They make the rules which supercede the constitution. Abuse laws, like harrasement, are in place in the united states. But saying someone is a fucking asshole, or proving that mary jane isnt a whore, is pretty much impossible to do. New Zealands laws make such things illegal outright. Their country, their rules.
 

gxp500

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The trick with cyber bullies it to just repeat everything they say, it'll piss them off so much they'll just quit.
If i called steve a dipshit and he'd say "no you're the dipshit" i mean how can i retort?
 

pothb

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I can name a list of reasons why.. but I'll stick to the minute obvious wording. It's says being critical of religion. Now I don't know about you, but there is a monumental difference in being critical and attacking someone. I'm critical of people's religion every day, but I only attack them on it when they are trying to force their stupid beliefs on my children or me. Neither of those scenarios are bullying, but now according to NZ law they both are and that's bullshit.

Being critical is being critical, but you said attack. If they are "forcing" their beliefs on you, then it's harassment. Which is "the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group." Then retaliate all you want, but doesn't mean it's "okay" to attack.
 

mullet

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The old days was face to face, how its all hiding behind the internet like cowards. Now if you have a fight at school you could be charged with assault.

Well true, I just remembered the kid that got expelled for making a pop tart into the shape of a gun.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Being critical is being critical, but you said attack. If they are "forcing" their beliefs on you, then it's harassment. Which is "the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group." Then retaliate all you want, but doesn't mean it's "okay" to attack.

Shall we get into a list of all the laws in the US that force a religions belief on me and millions of others against our will? I don't think you understand just how sweeping that statement is. Again my point is, the way NZ phrased their law leaves it extremely open for interpretation. It's going to be abused.
 

Master [H]

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So messaging someone being critical of their religion is cyberbullying in NZ? Wow.. painfully obvious which group sponsored this Nanny state bs..

Coming from the religious end, I can't see this ending well.

If you have free speech, you run the risk of something being said that you don't like. Trying to shut that down ends up being worse because it's only certain things that have protection and the whole thing snowballs. You don't have to like it, and it's also a good idea not to be a tool either. It's insane that nobody can talk critically about important things without offending a person. Free speech isn't for talking about the weather. I think it's good to have someone who doesn't agree with you, because, hey, you might be wrong.

But, yeah, nanny state: when people don't share your opinion.
 

Despotes

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More nanny state Orwellian BS from the cry baby left. You send an email with a quote from the Bible to someone and you could be breaking the law. Simply outrageous.
You always hear the left crying about "book bans", but they are the ones that are the least tolerant of others views and freedom of expression.
 

Relayer

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Nanny State, they are making more babies by doing this. In my day we would take care of bullies the old fashion way. We all looked after one another in school it's not like that anymore, you just get a participation trophy.

I'm an American living in NZ.

The use of force in general is not as universally accepted as some may think. Long story short, you can't use force to settle anything here unless it's pure self defense. And then you can only use sufficient force to defend yourself.

Here's a strange concept. If someone breaks into your house the recommended course of action is for you to leave your house and call the police and do nothing yourself. People living in America try and absorb that mentality before thinking you can settle cyber bullying using force.




Anyone getting 2 years in jail here for this is a laugh. You wouldn't spend a day in jail, I promise.

Here's an example of the NZ justice system
Two Bay men have narrowly avoided prison sentences after being found guilty of a home invasion knifepoint burglary in Mount Maunganui.

Cleveland Pearce, 18, of Gate Pa and Marlon Stanley Nicholas, 23, of Lower Kaimais were sentenced in Tauranga District Court yesterday, after being found guilty of one count of aggravated burglary at a jury trial in October last year.

Pearce received 10 months' home detention and 160 hours' community work.

Nicholas, who was also earlier convicted of further charges of burglary and common assault, was sentenced to 12 months' home detention and 320 hours' community work. His sentence also takes into account outstanding fines, which were remitted by Judge Louis Bidois.
This was burglary at knife point. Home detention and community service.

NZ is really good at passing laws. Not so good at enforcing them. And even worse at punishing them.
 

Red Squirrel

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They did something similar in Canada, in the end it's just to add to the "anti terrorism" agenda, which is in reality just to be able to spy on us and control us more.

Cyber bullying in Canada is like 10 years in jail minimum now. Ridiculous. I don't agree with cyber bullying but make the punishment fit the crime. They should be forced to do community service, maybe forced to go without internet for a year, or something, but jail?
 

BenWah

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Amazing how hard people fought for freedom and rights.

And how easily people throw it away.

You folks are eager for the government to prosecute thought crimes?

Really?

Maybe we'll become friends in the death camps.
 

BloodDonor

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I support this, I think people are just cowards who do it.

As a kiwi, I'm glad that the Government is doing something... however, they got it very wrong

Punishments are worse than if you did it to someone face to face...

to quote idiot/savant @ norightturn:

The core problem with the bill lies in the criminal provisions, which provide for a punishment of two year's imprisonment - below National's new jury trial threshold - for causing harm by posting [a] digital communication. The usual defences of truth and public interest do not apply. As TechLiberty has pointed out, this is so overbroad that it criminalises public interest political speech, such as exposing corruption or dodgy dealings by an MP. And as Tim Watkin pointed out yesterday, it applies not just to bloggers, but to journalists - leading to the ludicrous situation that a story would be perfectly legal if broadcast on TV or in a dead-tree newspaper, but punishable by imprisonment if posted on that media organisation's website. For the same content. To give a concrete example, Nicky Hager's The Hollow Men and Dirty Politics were unquestionably works of public interest journalism which should not be illegal in a free and democratic society. But if Hager had published them online rather than in hardcopy, he could be facing jail under this law. That's how bad it is.

http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2015/06/this-law-should-not-be-passed.html
 

gathagan

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The problem with this type of law, as is always the case: It's a moving target.
Word usage tends to mutate.
Consider words like idiot, fool, retard, handicapped.
All started as scientific or clinical terms without any sort of animus or vitriol.
All are now practically illegal.

It also attempts to change human behavior via law, which rarely ends well.
 

GaryJohnson

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More nanny state Orwellian BS from the cry baby left. You send an email with a quote from the Bible to someone and you could be breaking the law. Simply outrageous.
You always hear the left crying about "book bans", but they are the ones that are the least tolerant of others views and freedom of expression.

This was a bipartisan effort. New Zealand parliament is fairly evenly split down the middle. This legislation had 116 votes for and 5 against.

Protip: Just because someone disagrees with you that doesn't mean they're on the other side of the isle.
 
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