Governor Signs “Jordan’s Law” to Crack Down on Social Media Motivated Violent Crimes
SACRAMENTO — Governor Jerry Brown today has signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1542 by Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D – Woodland Hills), which is a first-in-the-nation step toward halting the growing epidemic of social media motivated attacks, or assaults planned for the purpose of filming and posting online for internet attention.
“The number of social media motivated attacks, which has included hundreds of vicious assaults on children, the elderly, and the disabled, has risen sharply each year since the mid-2000s,” said Assemblymember Dababneh. “We need to ensure that our criminal code keeps pace with technology, and AB 1542, by maximizing the sentence for those who conspire with attackers to videotape a violent crime, will serve as a strong message to our youth that California will not tolerate this sick desire for internet notoriety.”
Assemblymember Dababneh introduced AB 1542, also known as “Jordan’s Law,” after San Fernando Valley teen Jordan Peisner was viciously attacked by another teen. A friend of the attacker filmed the assault and posted it to social media where it quickly went viral. The attack left Jordan with severe, life-threatening injuries including a brain injury and permanent hearing loss.
“Social media can be a tool for tremendous good, for connecting people or shining a light on our democracy, but it can be a tool of cruelty and abuse as well,” remarked State Senator Henry Stern, who represents the 27th Senate District. “I hope that through this new law, Jordan Peisner, and other victims of violent acts perpetrated to generate attention on social media, will finally receive the justice they deserve. If you set out to make a video of a friend hurting someone else, beware, the law will no longer protect you. You are no longer an innocent bystander. You’ve turned that camera into a weapon.”