Criminals who post online videos of violent crimes would face extra jail time under a bill that passed an N.C. House committee Tuesday.
House Bill 918 would add two years to the prison sentence of anyone convicted of a violent felony who “intentionally posted a clip depicting the commission of the felony on the Internet.”
The bill would also hire a prosecutor to “serve as a state resource regarding the prosecution of violent crimes intentionally posted on the internet, including social media and similar applications.”
The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Garland Pierce of Scotland County, said his proposal comes after seeing violent crimes shown on Facebook and other social media sites.
“I think it’s time to send a message to people who put violent crimes on video to glamorize it,” he said. “Families continue to be traumatized by it. We need to send a strong message that North Carolina will not tolerate this type of behavior.”
Rep. Mickey Michaux, a Durham Democrat, questioned whether the bill would affect people who post videos of crimes that someone else committed.
“If you send out a video that Rep. (John) Blust created of a murder, what happens to you?” he asked Pierce, who explained that the bill only applies to people who post videos of their own crimes.
Rep. Dana Bumgardner, a Gastonia Republican, wanted to know how Facebook might view a new law. “Do you think Facebook’s going to be mad about this?” he asked.
“Once they see those type clips, they would immediately take them down,” Pierce responded. “I don’t think they would be mad about this.”
The bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee.