SC could fine social media mischief

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 12:58 PM
Last updated 8:16 PM
  • Follow Government

COLUMBIA -- A South Carolina legislator is trying to crack down on social media mischief.

A bill introduced last month would impose a $1,000 fine for stealing someone else’s social media identity, whether on Facebook or other sites, and using it to deceive others. This would include using someone else’s photo or likeness to knowingly spout misleading or bogus information in order to harass, defrauding or extract something of value from someone.

The South Carolina bill, H. 3449, was introduced by Rep. John King, a Rock Hill Democrat.

When shown the proposal, Ashley Caldwell, founder & CEO of The Modern Connection, a Charleston-based social media firm, expressed reservations.

“I think this bill has good intentions, but the way it’s worded suggests limiting legitimate professional use for creative and digital agencies,” she said. “There are a lot of gray areas when it comes to the digital space, and I don’t think this bill understands that.”

She said it would help if the standards for improper use were clarified.

What’s more, added Caldwell, most social networks already have user policies that prohibit the use of someone else’s identity.

“While these measures are obviously not fool-proof, I would think that the individual network would have a better opportunity to ban a user than getting the government involved.”

It’s not clear whether King’s bill, which was introduced on Jan. 31, was a reaction the duping of Manti Te’o. The University of Notre Dame football player was tricked into believing in a made-up girlfriend.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, lawmakers are also grappling with technological tricks.

Ga. Rep. Earnest Smith, of Augusta, discovered that someone pasted a photo of his face on the body of nude man, in the wake of the lawmaker’s efforts to penalize such things.

“No one has a right to make fun of anyone,” said Smith, according to Morris News Service.

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
TK3 02/16/13 - 01:58 pm
Who voted for this guy?

So much for first Amendment;
“No one has a right to make fun of anyone,” said Smith

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 02/16/13 - 02:03 pm
Who Else?

Low information voters.

Back to Top
Top headlines
Head Start volunteer wins area, state honors
Firefighter Anthony Moody was named Head Start Par­ent of the Year in the CSRA in 2015 and was described as “being an instrumental part of daily activities at Silas X. Floyd.”
Search Augusta jobs