Citing free speech, NC cyberbullying law struck down

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s cyberbullying law designed to protect children from harassing online posts has been found unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday the 2009 law that made posting on the Internet information designed to “intimidate or torment” a minor a misdemeanor violates the First Amendment by restricting speech.

Justice Robin Hudson wrote for her colleagues that protecting children from the harms of online bullying is laudable but the law prohibits a wide range of online speech and doesn’t require victims to show they suffered injury.

The ruling involved an Alamance County student charged with the crime in 2012 and later convicted. Friday’s ruling reversed a Court of Appeals ruling and overturned the student’s conviction.

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Categories: NC, News

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