California Launches Online Portal For Reporting “Internet Harassment”

We’ve heard this one before: the push to put in place measures identifying and sanctioning acts that are not (f)actually illegal, but will effectively be treated as such, in order to reduce the supposedly dangerous levels of “internet harassment,” etc. Some variation of the phrase – “acts of hate that may not violate the law but still cause significant harm in a community” – has appeared in new legislation, rules and initiatives across the world – in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Europe. And now the trend has caught on in California. The governor of this US state, Gavin Newsom, has announced a new multi-language program dubbed “CA vs Hate” which will feature a site and a hotline that will allow people to report what they perceive as acts of hate. But – why just not report such a thing to the police? Perhaps because laws already in place to deal with this kind of acts appear not be enough here – because, what will be treated as “acts of hate” – may in fact not be illegal. A press release from Newsom’s office said the program was being launched in response to rising hate crimes affecting Asian and Pacific communities, and that reporting will be optionally anonymous and safe, open to both people who believe they are victims, or witnesses to such “acts.” Cynics will say – just a politician in search of job security. That said, it isn’t entirely clear who, and in what way will deal with…California Launches Online Portal For Reporting “Internet Harassment”