Texas lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make it a Class C misdemeanor to send (via electronic submission) an unsolicited explicit photo, punishable by a fine of up to $500. A journalist from Texas Monthly spoke to criminal law expert Kenworthey Bilz about the proposed law and its enforceability.
“This is a way of stating that this is a behavior that isn’t just obnoxious, but that so violates the norms of what we think is proper that we’re actually going to get the law involved here,” Bilz says. “It’s a way of shaping norms to get this behavior taken more seriously. Law has expressive power.”
The existence of the law itself may reduce this type of behavior, which makes enforcement less of an issue.
“The reason that these legislators wrote this law is because the terms of service weren’t doing the trick,” Bilz says. “The best-case scenario is that this actually does cut down on the behavior, which is a win.”
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