New York Legislators have introduced a new bill, called the Internet Protection Act that would make it illegal to posts anonymously. The purpose of the bill was initially started to prevent cyber-bulling, but also includes attacks against businesses, and “baseless political attacks” when posted anonymously.
According to the author, one James Conte, “With more and more people relying on social media and the Internet to communicate and gather information, it is imperative that the legislature put into place some type of safeguard to prevent people from using the Internet’s cloak of anonymity to bully our children and make false accusations against local businesses and elected officials.”
Notice the part where they added “baseless political attacks” in order to protect themselves.
While at the outset this may not seem like something that affects our industry, it does. Anytime that the right of a person to speak their word, whether its anonymously or not, is restricted, it can be used to intimate advertisers. Much of performance-based marketing relies on viral based marketing about competing products.
Would you like to be in a situation where a company with a lot more money, decides to go after you because you were promoting a competing product without identifying yourself?
Any restriction on free speech is not only unconstitutional, but plain stupid.
On that note, James Conte you are an idiot for proposing this law. And that’s not “baseless” at all.