In an effort to protect its turf and the city’s reputation, the city will likely take a very aggressive stance against people in Santa Fe who use Twitter.
In a letter recently sent to local police, the city attorney is advising officers to take a zero tolerance stance against anyone found to be engaging in online harassment.
The letter states that officers will be able to request Twitter accounts of anyone who violates any municipal ordinance or city code, and if found guilty to seize private property and destroy the offending tweets. The city is even threatening to arrest those who engage in these offenses.
The city of Santa Fe did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
“We are taking this very seriously,” city manager Larry Leahey told KOB. “The department is working on plans to better prepare our officers for the possibility of this.”
Twitter users who are found guilty of committing online harassment will be subject to legal action in addition to the usual fines. As of Thursday night, four people had already received a citation for violating Santa Fe’s online harassment law, according to the Daily Mail.
The City of Santa Fe is one of just 30 cities in Colorado that have laws against harassing a public figure. Other cities include Denver, Austin, and Denver, but none of them regulate trolling in their own communities.
The city and police chief aren’t the only ones getting tough. Earlier this month, the Denver Metro Denver Narcotics Anonymous Task Force posted on its Twitter account on behalf of Mayor Michael Hancock that they will be arresting anyone who uses the hashtag #dmarb for discussing the “real life dangers” of drugs.
The Denver post is part of a larger trend, as law enforcement, schools, and local organizations around the US are working together to stop the trend of online harassment of students, faculty, people, and celebrities. Last year, Reddit was targeted by a man who wanted to harass a school reporter after she wrote about his death threats posted on the website. And at the behest of the FBI and DOJ, schools across the country announced recently that they will be cracking down on cyberbullying.
For now, though, the battle against online trolls has taken some surprising and surprising places. Many tech companies have recently vowed to do everything in their power to combat online harassment — some more vigorously than others.
Several companies are using the hashtag #StopGamerGate2014 to help raise awareness and pressure gamers with anti-consumer, “social justice” agendas to leave
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