Open Data

Prohibition and removal of adverse "Coronavirus Challenge" videos on TikTok and YouTube.

----------------------INTRODUCTION:

CONTEXT:

At present time (04-02-20) the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is greater than the total number killed during the Terrorist attack of 09-11-2001. The public at large has been educated regarding the dangers of the Coronavirus pandemic, and public policy requires non-essential persons to shelter in place to avoid contact with Coronavirus as much as possible. Yet there are always those individuals that do not take threats seriously, and of increased concern, there are those who intentionally promote opposing or adverse activities in times of crisis.

-

PROBLEM:

Some celebrities, "clout chasers," and others are setting bad examples that influence vulnerable children, teens, and others with impressionable minds (that browse YouTube and TikTok) to expose themselves to Coronavirus infection against public policy.

-

IMPERATIVE:

Actions need to be taken to BLOCK or remove adverse "Coronavirus Challenge" videos on TikTok and YouTube before someone copycats the adverse conduct and gets infected.

-

-------------------EVIDENCE OF THE PROBLEM:

-

=>Adverse Video-1 #coronachallenge

(Influencer LICKS contaminated surface for Clout, also highlights impressionable mind saying they love it and calling her brave)

-

=>Adverse Video-2 #coronachallenge

(Habitual perpetrator of public contamination engages in Coronavirus Challenge)

-

------------------- RULES OF LAW: (example case law)

-

1. Commonwealth v. Atencio, 345 Mass. 627, 627-628, 189 N.E.2d 223 (1963) Example case law affirming conviction of involuntary manslaughter arising [*365] from game of "Russian roulette."

-

2. Commonwealth v. Campbell, 352 Mass. 387, 397, 226 N.E.2d 211 (1967) Example case law held "wanton or reckless conduct that causes a person's death constitutes involuntary manslaughter."

-

3. Commonwealth v. Carter, 481 Mass. 352, 115 N.E.3d 559 (2019). Example case law wherein a young woman is convicted for talking her boyfriend into committing suicide. Also see Commonwealth v. Bowen, 13 Mass. 356, 356 (1816).

-

4. Commonwealth v. Johnson, 470 Mass 300, 308, 21 N.E.3d 937 (2014) Example case law held communication may be prohibited when "directed at a course of conduct, rather than speech, and the conduct it proscribes is not necessarily associated with speech."

-

5. Commonwealth v. Pugh, 462 Mass. 482, 496-497, 969 N.E.2d 672 (2012) Example case law held wanton or reckless conduct may be "determined based either on the defendant's specific knowledge or on what a reasonable person should [*360] have known in the circumstances."

-

-------------------------------------ANALYSIS:

-

The behaviors and actions exhibited in Coronavirus Challenge videos are dangerous and may antagonize efforts to decrease the spread of the Coronavirus, or perhaps even increase spread of the disease by some small factor. In general, if an individual(s) are influencing the spread of terrorism with videos, Government would be filing for take-down injunctions, setting up sting operations and/or kicking down doors. Likewise, if someone influences the suicide of another they will be charged and prosecuted. Yet, our current Coronavirus issue may at some point be considered a bigger issue than the 09/11/2001 Terrorist attacks, or suicide of one person, and the adverse videos reach millions of people on platforms like YouTube or TikTok, but nothing is done about it. Rules exist prohibiting adverse conduct involving certain language and symbolic actions or expressions. As a cross-check, in open sources, I've heard of no major actions or remedies to mitigate adverse influence or other adverse Coronavirus related propaganda within videos and other sources on the internet. Therefore, I write to briefly consider two levels of potential criminal conduct related to Coronavirus Challenge videos. Consider the following.

-

I. LEVEL-1: UNDUE INFLUENCE.

At minimum, the facts show that the behavior exhibited in the aforementioned Coronavirus challenge videos constitutes adverse influence directed at individuals that are potentially susceptible (within the meaning of the tort of Undue Influence), as it may influence them to engage in copycat activities observed via YouTube and TikTok, and transmission of infectious disease. Rules of law exist that prohibit games and can lead to prosecution if they are sufficiently dangerous as seen in case law affirming conviction of "involuntary manslaughter arising [*365] from the game of Russian roulette" (Commonwealth v. Atencio, 345 Mass. 627, 627-628, 189 N.E.2d 223 (1963)). Also, the principle that a defendant might be charged and convicted of a homicide offense merely for "repeatedly and frequently advis[ing] and urg[ing] [a victim] to destroy himself," with no physical assistance, can also be found in centuries-old Massachusetts common law (Commonwealth v. Bowen, 13 Mass. 356, 356 (1816)). Additionally, the videos may be prohibited when "directed at a course of conduct, rather than speech, and the conduct it proscribes is not necessarily associated with speech" (Commonwealth v. Johnson, 470 Mass 300, 308, 21 N.E.3d 937 (2014)). When the rules are applied to the facts, public policy has been breached, public safety requires the videos be taken down, no known remedy has occurred, and precedent exists to curtail the adverse conduct. Therefore, an ADMINISTRATIVE LAW determination needs to be made at DOJ and other Government agencies as to whether the behaviors and actions exhibited in Coronavirus Challenge videos fall outside of 1st Amendment protected artistic or symbolic speech, breaches public policy, and should therefore constitute a civil litigation matter or in the alternative should they result in a misdemeanor, fines or other sanctions given the seriousness of the issue.

-

II. LEVEL-2: WANTONLY OR RECKLESSLY INSTRUCTION AS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF MANSLAUGHTER.

As previously mentioned, no individual is allowed to persuade another individual into committing suicide. The facts show that Coronavirus Challenge videos are against public policy regarding behaviors and actions that lead to death. This is especially relevant because there are standing infectious disease orders during a pandemic including nationwide Presidential and other State EO's directing people to avoid exposure. In the example relevant case law, Michelle Carter "Texting Suicide Case," the finders of fact established that she influenced adverse actions that were the proximate cause of the death of a young man. Relevant holdings:

[1]-Sufficient evidence supported defendant's involuntary manslaughter conviction for ordering her boyfriend to complete his suicide because her inculpatory statement was corroborated, and she overpowered his will, creating a high likelihood of substantial harm;

[2]-Involuntary manslaughter law was not unconstitutionally vague as applied because it gave notice she might be so charged for reckless verbal conduct causing a victim's suicide;

[3]-Her conviction did not offend free speech because her conduct was not necessarily related to speech, and criminal conduct speech was unprotected; […]

(Commonwealth v. Carter, 481 Mass. 352, 115 N.E.3d 559 (2019)).

As we considered Commonwealth v. Carter Id., an analogy may be drawn, whereby individuals should not be allowed to influence actions that may increase the spread of Coronavirus (which leads to dead) any more than they should influence suicide. Specifically, when the rules are applied to the facts, Coronavirus Challenge videos breach public policy, and are therefore, unprotected criminal conduct speech. On this point, other case law held that wanton or reckless conduct may be "determined based either on the defendant's specific knowledge or on what a reasonable person should [*360] have known in the circumstances" (Commonwealth v. Pugh, 462 Mass. 482, 496-497, 969 N.E.2d 672 (2012)). On this point, the facts show that the public is aware of the Coronavirus danger, and a reasonable person should know better than to create "Coronavirus Challenge" videos provoking the public to self-contaminate with the infectious disease. Therefore, where individuals post Coronavirus Challenge videos containing adverse language or actions, and wherein they wantonly or recklessly instruct the public to engage in the dangerous activity (analogous to Commonwealth v. Campbell, 352 Mass. 387, 397, 226 N.E.2d 211 (1967)), and these instructions are the proximate cause of a death, the conduct should be criminalized including felony charges.

-

CONCLUSION:

Whereas, it is appropriate to curtail all relevant "Coronavirus Challenge" videos when they violate Federal or State public policy. And whereas, there is no doubt adequate Federal and State statutory authority and case law is available for application to prevent posting adverse "Coronavirus Challenge" videos on YouTube or TikTok. And whereas, this small source of antagonism of the fight against the Coronavirus must be mitigated (one video could reach millions and influence hundreds to harm themselves). Wherefore, removal of relevant Coronavirus Challenge videos that breach public policy is appropriate and required, as well as additional actions to curtail future posting of Coronavirus Challenge videos as necessary.

-

NOTES:

1. I've only just begun to consider this topic, and the relevant-applicable case law provided herein are simple examples among vast sources of potentially precedent case law that may be applied depending upon the circumstances.

2. It is unclear if Congress will need to take further lawmaker actions to fully curtail the issue, or if administrators will interpret and rely upon preexisting statutory authority to support the promulgation of administrative policy to mitigate the issue.

3. In general, I tend to wonder where adverse "Challenge" ideas like these originate (teens in their nonage, people with mental disorders, U.S. adversaries influencing "useful idiots" to harm the public), perhaps all of the above. Regardless of origins and root causes, the issue is within the purview of law enforcement where public policy has been breached.

Tags

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active
Idea No. 963