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You Can Now Go To Jail in New Zealand for Cyber-bullying

computer keys spelling cyber bully
Image via WMKY

Be careful what you say online

While the internet has allowed people to make some truly amazing things, it has also spawned quite a few nasty things, chief of which is cyber bullying. New Zealand has apparently had enough and have passed the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law, which essentially outlaws cyber-bullying.

The law prohibits sending messages to people that are racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability – essentially if you use “digital communications” to harass people in New Zealand, then you’re in for a rough time. Really nasty offenders are looking at fines as much as NZD 33900, or a whopping Php 1025844, along with a two-year jail term.

To deal with the monumental task of determining what actually constitutes cyber bullying, New Zealand is creating a new agency that would make contact with publishers and social media platforms and to escalate complaints to the district courts. Facebook and Twitter, two of the world’s biggest social media platforms can opt to be a safe harbor if they decide to delete offending messages within 48 hours.

In the Philippines, our closest analogue to New Zealand’s law is our Cybercrime Law, which includes internet libel as an offence. While it’s not as strict as New Zealand’s new law, it does give some measure of protection to people who are victims of cyberbullying.

What do you think? Do we need laws like New Zealand’s to protect ourselves from cyber-bullying?


John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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  1. Yes, we need this law to stop cyber bullying and to keep our internet safe from the evil.

  2. Lol… Maybe you shouldn’t be online if feel you bullied. People post stupid shit on their social media accounts all the effing time, then cry when they get “bullied”. This is what happens with idiots. The interwebs don’t like whiny pussies. GTFO!

    1. @Kofty you’re exactly the reason why cyber-bullying laws are being passed, to stop douchebags like you from doing whatever they want to other people, seeing that people like you “think” that nobody can make you pay since you’re doing it online. why don’t you man-up and do your bullying in person instead of hiding behind your mom’s ipad, you pussy!

    2. What did you just say about him, bro? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Watch_Dogs, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Highlife Productions’ party of debauchery, and I have over 300 confirmed kills on Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in Crossfire. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my words. You think you can get away with saying that to him over the Internet? Think again. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot.

  3. That’s it! I’m boycotting their zombie, pasteurized, filled with dead enzymes and non- nutrients diary goods that came from genetically modified bovine filled with BGH, antibiotics and made cannibals by feeding them with the carcasses of defective GMO cows. Long live King Aragon!

  4. I’m against this BS law, maraming loop-holes ang batas na ito, a simple ”MEME” could mean trouble for you, what happened to internet freedom?

  5. Instead of creating laws like this they should have focused first on the source of bullying, the lack of values education in the Internet. They should have started imposing curriculum related to it so for the greater good, no one would bully someone naturally online.

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