In the forum of Colorado’s legislature today, members debated a bill that would create a class 2 misdemeanor for using online services to harass a child. The plan is to add HB 1131 to the list of actions classified as harassment under Colorado law §18-9-111.
The bill proposes to criminalize conduct intended to “kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotional distress” to the child, or place the child in “reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.”
The bill states specifically:
(1.3)(a) A person may not use an interactive computer service to engage in a course of conduct that inflicts serious emotion distress on a minor or places a minor in a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury with the intent:
(I) To kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotion distress to the minor; or
(II) To place the minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.
This law criminalizes anyone harassing a minor on any social media space, like Facebook, Twitter, or by using any other system that provides access to the internet.