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Kentucky Bill: Wait an Hour Before Posting Injuries To Social Media (kentucky.com) 257

An anonymous reader writes: A Kentucky state representative is developing an unusual piece of legislation. It would impose a delay on people posting about an event on social media if the event resulted in serious injury. Users caught violating this law would face fines ranging from $20-$100. It wouldn't restrict media, victims, or first responders — just bystanders. Representative John Carney says, "It's purely my intent to get a discussion going out there, asking people to be more respectful about what they put on social media. We've had some incidents, including one in my community, and I'd hate for anyone to learn about the loss of a loved one through social media."

Opponents of the bill point out the difficulty in determining who qualifies as "media" in the age of social networks, not to mention the potential conflict with the First Amendment. Carney recognizes the difficulty, and says he doesn't intend to push the bill immediately, but notes that he's trying to solve a real problem. Tiger Robinson, a local public safety director, said, "There have been times we've been pulling bodies out of cars and these people are standing there, snapping pictures on their phones to post on Facebook. It's just not right."

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Kentucky Bill: Wait an Hour Before Posting Injuries To Social Media

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  • by redmid17 ( 1217076 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @04:37PM (#51289489)
    Even if the law were to pass and it survive all legal challenges -- and it most certainly wouldn't -- there are always going to be an insensitive idiots. I'm sure the victims would feel a ton better with random people taking pictures and spreading them instead of a news channel or newspaper.

    This easily falls in the "Why the fuck would you even bother" category. Seriously, this is the best response you could come up with to an incident in your district? Send out an email to your voter base and write a FB update praising people who respect the privacy and dignity of accident (or crime) victims. It's great because you wouldn't look like an idiot, would appear respectful, and it would have a bit more impact.
    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      I would think the goalshould be to get people to do something to actually help rather then just blog about it

      • Yeah, that's what's gonna happen.

        People will use that hour to get the best shots. If they even care about a fine of 100 bucks.

        • Are you kidding? With the right tabloid/media outlet, $100 is chump change compared to the cashing-in you can get from the likes of CNN or the National Enquirer (depending on what and whom you get video/images of)...

      • I would think the goal should be to get people to do something to actually help rather then just blog about it

        Yes, I completely agree. BUT... everyone has got thoroughly used to seeing footage of dead, dying and horribly injured people abroad, taken by our "professional" media. If those cameramen and reporters choose to snap pictures rather than help, how can you expect ordinary people at home to act differently?

      • There is a finite limit to the number of people who can help with a particular person or in a particular scenario. This law explicitly exempts media, emergency peeps, and victims, so clearly it's not helping the victim that comes to mind first. If the media is on scene and no first responders, then they could still take pictures and not help. Reporters have never been known to do that [nydailynews.com]that before
        • Indeed, in fact far too many professional reporters have been shot and killed while trying to assist victims.
    • With the low fine, and unconstitutionality, it seems like this rep is trolling us.
      How can he possibly be serious?

      Horrible people posting inappropriate things is just one of the bad things that come along with all the good the Internet brings us. I don't think there's anything we can do about it. You can't legislate compassion into people.
      • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @04:59PM (#51289699) Journal

        The fine summary at the top of this page says he doesn't intend to actually push the bill to pass and the representative says "It's purely my intent to get a discussion going out there, asking people to be more respectful ".

        So yes, he's trying to get a discussion going, aka trolling. That appears to have worked because here we are discussing it.

        • And the general consensus is that the attempt is ill-advised and he would be better served (and not look stupid) by using other means to do so.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          He really isn't trolling. The argument that people have reasonable expectations of privacy for medical issues is perfectly reasonable and not exactly a fringe view. In some places when people are being given medical attention in public the police will try to block the view of the public because most people would probably prefer not to be seen soiling themselves in public while they cry from the pain and try to ignore their knee bending the wrong way. They probably don't want to see images of that later on e

        • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @06:47PM (#51290411)

          So yes, he's trying to get a discussion going, aka trolling. That appears to have worked because here we are discussing it.

          Why call it "trolling" exactly? A stereotypical "troll" isn't generally interested in "trying to get a discussion going" -- a troll usually wants to avoid substantive discussion and drive things into flamewars and emotional outbursts. In addition, trolls are usually insincere, disrupting reasonable discussion for their own amusement.

          Almost none of that is here. Here's a guy whose aim appears sincere and who wants to get a reasonable discussion going on serious topic. He's putting a proposal out there, and perhaps reaction will lead to the development of a better solution. Perhaps his proposal is unworkable and naive, but it's certainly after a fairly reasonable result.

          And also, I think most people here would agree that it would be better if lawmakers actually didn't ram through the first ridiculous legislation that comes into their brains, but threw out some ideas, got some reaction, and crafted something more reasonable.

          You can criticize him as stupid or naive or ignorant of how the internet or the law works, but "trolling"??

          • Pretty sure he was being sarcastic and it went over your head. I think he meant it in the way that anyone who disagrees with another persons belief tends to scream "TROLL!" to silence them instead of trying to engage in discussion.

    • This, right here... hell, even as a politician he could go out of his way to shame and ridicule the dolt who decided that youtube/facebook hits are more important to him than discretion and dignity. Now *that* would have a lot more impact.

    • Also, when there is an accident involving a loved one, I want to know as soon as possible. I don't need someone to cushion the blow, if that means that I'll have to wait an extra hour to learn about it.

      This law doesn't even intend to protect the privacy of individuals, or penalize looky-loos, since it's really only about timing of the release of the pictures (and not anything else). If I were cynical, I'd say that this idea was more about lessening the burden on emergency services, police, and hospitals not

    • I'm sure the victims would feel a ton better with random people taking pictures and spreading them instead of a news channel or newspaper.

      Well, as I understand it, the newspapers/news channels tend to wait until the police/public officials notify the family before broadcasting the name of the person.

      This enters an interesting realm. Consider facial recognition or the like and the ability to be notified when pictures of you or your loved ones are posted on a social network.

    • I'd say most if not all of the old school media ( TVs and newspapers ) routinely ensure that the victims relatives have been notified before publishing their identity. They're certainly not in the habit of publishing grizzly videos accompanied by a narrative that deliberately mocks the death or dismemberment of another human being.

      As to "why bother" - In most western democracies (including the US) politicians are expected to post bills to force a public conversation about a perceived problem. It's the fo
    • It could serve as a means of recording on the public record that those people are "insensitive" and therefore more likely to be psychopathic. Sounds like a good way of weeding out such people from positions where they could do harm. Three strikes, under that law, and you can't work in certain professions.
  • but it is their right. also he is still ok with taking the pictures just delay posting them... so clearly it is still right at a later time.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      It's striving for some sort of compromise in the face of a rather uncomfortable scenario.

      We value free speech and it's a dangerous thing to flirt with the idea of *any* restriction. So to *forbid* anything is just outright unacceptable from the outset.

      On the other hand, people are jerks and intentionally or unintentionally do hurtful things that really offer no value whatsoever to public discourse.

      So if you care about it and feel compelled to say *something*, this doesn't seem such a strange thing to put

      • On the other hand, people are jerks and intentionally or unintentionally do hurtful things that really offer no value whatsoever to public discourse.

        Perhaps, but you don't won't government making value judgements about whether something has "value to public discourse", that road leads to massive censorship.

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        i would tend to agree if it was anyone but a legislator threatening by legislation.
        Personally i don't facebook and if some one i knew posted this crap i would block them any way. But thats my choice and i am still free to exercise that. This person is taking what little is left of the political process and forcing his moral view by threatening to legislate. He could have started a conversation in another way if he felt it was necessary.

  • by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @04:39PM (#51289503) Homepage Journal

    In what era of human history before now have we had such thorough and widespread documentation of events both wonderful AND tragic. All those camera angles, all those photos, all that video and audio: it's hard to cover something up. Hard to hide evidence. Hard for police to quietly murder a black man and sweep it under the rug.

    A person who videos INSTEAD of rendering aid, when their aid is needed, is a shithead.

    But what do you expect? 100 people to all somehow help? We naturally now stratify into helpers and documenters. Both are important.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I agree there's no way this could be a good idea to actually implement.

      However I question the value of widespread, instant, and permanent documentation of everything. We do not need pictures of every snack and meal each person eats. We don't need to instantly be able to access 100 different camera angles of a gruesome car accident (though camera angles of such things may be helpful in the medium term to understand what went wrong). We don't have a long term value from footage of all sorts of common thin

    • A person who videos INSTEAD of rendering aid, when their aid is needed, is a shithead.

      But what do you expect? 100 people to all somehow help?

      If you're not helping, get the hell out of the way and go stand on the sidelines. There's no need for a crowd of people to gather around like vultures just to stand there recording it with their phones. We've all seen those videos by now, there's really no reason to keep seeing the same thing over and over. I'm all for the first amendment and the peoples right to be informed and express themselves, but can we at least pretend to have even a shred of compassion and respect for others? Can we not be decent hu

    • To be fair, most people are idiots and are as likely to cause harm as good when trying to help. At least we've gotten past the Kitty Genovese effect (mostly) and at least someone in the crowd will call 911.

      Not to mention Good Samaritan laws won't really shield you from a soul-crushing investigation of second-guessing against a backdrop of what would a "reasonable" person do when faced with blood everywhere, body parts, and chaos. I'm reminded of an investigation of the medical staff accused of killing patie

    • I agree, but it's not even just about helping people. It's about the guy who shows up at the scene of an accident where a young woman is gasping her final breaths during a horrific accident as rescue workers are doing everything they can to save her life. She passes on and her entire last few minutes of life are now about to be posted online for everyone to witness before her parents even know she is gone.

      This happened at an accident this summer that a coworker was involved in. He noticed a guy filming this

    • by Rinikusu ( 28164 )

      And increasingly: profiteers.

    • A person who videos INSTEAD of rendering aid, when their aid is needed, is a shithead.

      What if that person is not qualified to be a First Responder (doesn't know enough first aid to be useful and knows that, or just isn't confident enough) and they know that actual First Responders are on their way? Sure it seems callous to just stand there and video it, but otherwise they just stand there? Of course if they're all excited and acting like it's 'fun' or something then they need to be punched in the nose.. but that's besides the point. Like it or not you can't legislate 'taste' either; discoura

  • bad taste maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @04:39PM (#51289505) Homepage
    bad taste maybe but illegal???? seems a little, i dont know unconstitutional
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @04:40PM (#51289517)

    This is a symptom of a deep cultural problem, and I don't think either law or technology is going to fix it. At best, it'll just be another "law nobody knows about" that can be used for selective enforcement.

    This need to post every microscopic facet of one's life to Facebook is rather sick, even under less tragic circumstances than a traffic accident. It's something that's badly broken about our narcissistic culture. It's bad enough when it's one's own private data, but when it involves some other human being who didn't agree, and in fact may have just suffered either the worst day of their life, or the last day of their life, it's even worse. It's a symptom of lack of empathy for other human beings.

    The only way I see to fix this is long term and cultural, not short term and legal.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      You mean like the jaywalking laws?

      The town I live in only has crosswalks in one place Walmart.
      The rest of the town is unmarked so people just cross wherever whenever it is safe to do so it is very often selectively enforced when it really ought not apply anymore anyhow.

    • Yea but how else are people who are miserable in their own lives going to get some level of validation? Other people just come second to that.

      "Look at this crazy thing that came into my life!"

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @04:42PM (#51289531)

    I wonder if this guy knows about "scanner feeds" where some loner posts what he/she hears on the police/fire/EMS scanner into Twitter or Facebook. Lots of times there's serious injuries there. (Sometimes even the responder departments do this since the reports will all be public later anyway.)

    Or what about sports? Would this prevent tweeting about a particularly violent tackle?

    • by ibpooks ( 127372 )

      Sure, but those scanner feeds rarely include victim names whereas various social media platforms can easily fill in those blanks with facial recognition technology AND automatically notify all of that person's friends in one fell swoop.

      • FB is not quite able to automatically tag people in photos yet.

      • I guess I would rather know than not know. Why does it matter if it is the police that inform you or social media? Why is one worse than another? The tragedy still happened and the loved one is still injured or dead...

    • Surely police radio communications are encrypted? If they weren't, criminals would tune in during a crime to check whether the cops were coming. "All units in the area to XYZ Bank on Station St. Robbery in progress."
  • If it's "just not right" for bystanders to post photos of victims to social media, why make exceptions for "emergency responders" and "members of the news media"?

    "At first I was flabbergasted when I learned of my wife's death via a photo posted on Facebook, but breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw it was just my local news team's Facebook account! A huge thanks to the Channel 10 News Team for their sensitivity and tact in relaying this private information."

    • Exactly.

      If anything social media could cut out a lot of worry time by notifying you faster. Why does it matter where the information comes from?

  • how about focusing on making life for residents more interesting?
  • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @04:54PM (#51289655) Homepage
    So the correct way to handle that situation is to take a picture of the dufus that's taking a picture of a body being pulled out of a car, and post a picture of them on social media.
  • Freedom of speech/assembly.

    Moreover, it's a blatant cash grab.

  • Catch-22 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IonOtter ( 629215 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @05:03PM (#51289729) Homepage

    Say you record a cop shooting a pedestrian. Straight up, cold blood, didn't like them, went postal, flipped their lid and shot a jaywalker. [youtube.com]

    If you post the video of the murder right away, you can be arrested and charged.

    But if you wait an hour, that gives the murderers time to come up with ways to protect themselves. [google.com]

  • legislators: we should tackle existing agenda items such as the impending repeal of our states healthcare exchange from a newly elected governor, or the drug crisis in cities like Covington and Louisville.
    John Carney: I wrote something on a dennys napkin about people who do things i dont like.
  • "There have been times we've been pulling bodies out of cars and these people are standing there, snapping pictures on their phones to post on Facebook. It's just not right."

    There are many things people can do that might be in poor taste, but won't be illegal. If these people are standing on the sidelines and not preventing emergency services from getting to the injured/dead, then they aren't doing anything illegal. Will we next require people to intervene instead of standing on the sidelines? (Not mindi

    • by ibpooks ( 127372 )

      There are also quite a few activities that cause little to no harm other than being in poor taste or offensive to some moral views, but are various degrees of illegal nonetheless. Public nudity, cursing on FM radio, selling/consuming/possessing drugs and/or alcohol in particular counties or times of day for example.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Tuesday January 12, 2016 @05:20PM (#51289843)

    "...I'd hate for anyone to learn about the loss of a loved one through social media."

    Sounds reasonable. But wait a minute - is there any good way to learn about the loss of a loved one? I know from personal experience that the arrival of two regular policemen at your front door in the middle of the night isn't ideal, either.

    Something terrible has happened. It can't be undone. I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't actually prefer to read about it on social media, and be able to grieve alone before outsiders began to push in with their expectations and self-conscious caring voices.

  • That "hour" will get abused to be anything, anytime, plus confiscate and search.

    No thanks. Life sucks. Cops can't fix that. Stop adding cops to every "problem." It doesn't help.

    The people I live among have the good taste not to do this to others. Foster decency and honor and leave the cops out of it. For that you'll need discipline, respect and a degree of prosperity. The exact opposite of what our leaders give us with their welfare state, grievance mongering and controlled decline.

  • It all comes down to you can legislate morality. Shitty people will always be shitty people
  • I don't think the solution is another law. Instead he should find someone to launch an education campaign and try to convince people why they shouldn't do it.

  • We named the dog "Kentucky"...
  • We are the people. We have the recognized right to free speech, assembly, and religion.

    Media corporations rely on THAT to do what they do.

    These people have it reversed. These are OUR rights, not theirs, first.

  • About 8 years ago, one of our local (Milwaukee) TV anchors called the wife of a man who was killed earlier in the day. Unfortunately, no one at the TV station (TMJ4) made sure that the police had already told her. Even worse, the TV station defended her actions and she still works there.

    I'm glad this bill wouldn't prevent that sort of thing from happening again; mostly because if she would ever interview me unannounced, the first words out of my mouth are going to be, "Oh god, my wife was killed, wasn't she

  • How is that right? Either it is everybody or nobody. You can't prohibit individuals from doing this if you allow mainstream media. BTW, I don't think you should legislate this anyway, freedom of speech and such.
  • Whether it's intentional or not, this legislation will clearly violate people's First Amendment rights, and as such it cannot become Law.
  • Isn't it funny how Republicans love to extol the virtues of the Constitution and freedom and then go around and restrict freedom and violate the Constituion.

  • The bill is aimed at videos. You are still free to report any event in writing using your favorite blogging service. Your right to express your opinion is not hindered. In many cases video taping a court room trial is not allowed, so you see painted images of the court room instead on the news.
    What the question should be is: Is evidence protected under the first amendment?

    Videos are a stronger form of evidence than someone written summary of an event. They are harder to fabricate and easier to detect fraud

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      In many cases video taping a court room trial is not allowed

      Courtrooms are closed proceedings done in a controlled area under strict rules. You don't have free speech rights in court regarding the proceedings of another person's trial; you cannot make distracting speeches in the courtroom either. It's not that you can't video what you want in order to make your desired expression: No video recording or distracting behavior at all is allowed.

      Also, the judge may strike certain things from the re

  • "There have been times we've been pulling bodies out of cars and these people are standing there, snapping pictures on their phones to post on Facebook. It's just not right."

    News reporters would be doing the same thing. Snapping pictures to use in their headlines. What is the actual ethical problem with this behavior?

    If you're concerned about people getting in the way of rescue efforts, then make it illegal to interfere with rescue efforts.

    If you are concerned with people taking pictures, when they

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