Some Mexicans could soon find themselves facing jail time if they dare to post “harmful” memes or pictures online.
According to the Independent U.K., the Mexican state of Veracruz voted to approve a measure that would criminalize the posting of “harmful or malicious” images, videos, memes and messages that may damage a person’s “reputation or self-esteem.” Publishing such a post could land offenders in jail for up to two years.
While proponents of the bill claim the measure would keep people from getting cyberbullied, the Independent reports many detractors say the real aim is to keep local politicians from being mocked online.
Thankfully, both the state’s current governor, Miguel Angel Yunes, and his soon-to-be successor, Cuitlahuac Garcia, have both said they’d veto the legislation, calling it “unconstitutional.”
While laws against sarcastic or offensive memes may seem wildly excessive to anyone with more than about 13 brain cells, Veracruzisn’t the first governmental arm to try and curb distasteful photos online. Earlier this month, Sweden’s Advertising Ombudsmandeemed the “Distracted Man” meme, a photo that depicts a guy getting sidetracked from his girlfriend by another woman, as “sexist.” The U.K. has threatened to jail citizens for posting “hateful” or offensive things on Facebook.