Friday, December 9, 2011

Cleveland Should Stop Trying To Criminalize Social Media

Cleveland is still trying to criminalize social media. If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again must be Cleveland's City Council slogan. On July 25, 2011, August 5, 2011, and on October 6, 2011 I wrote about Cleveland's prior attempts to criminalize social media flash mobs, tweet ups, get togethers, etc...

When I spoke with Thomas Ott of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in October I was quoted as saying that the law is still vague and that Cleveland has more work to do on the legislation. Unfortunately, Cleveland's City Council took my words literally and decided to redraft their legislation.

This proposed ordinance will create more problems than it will solve. If Cleveland's Mayor signs the proposal it may be tested during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony next year. If a majority of Guns N' Roses (they deserved induction) original lineup plays at the ceremony or makes appearances in Cleveland and fans use social media for a tweet up and criminal activity occurs fans may be rounded up and prosecuted for using a hashtag such as #gunsnroses.

It is time for common sense to prevail. Cleveland should focus their resources on more productive matters than drafting and trying to enforce vague social media law(s).

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at

Copyright 2011 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.