FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The father of a northern Kentucky teen targeted on social media after a controversial video went viral was in Frankfort Wednesday.
Ted Sandmann is backing a bill he says would have protected is son from so-called "doxing."
Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann and his MAGA cap went viral because of a video taken of his school group in Washington, D.C. The field trip went bad on the National Mall when the students were confronted by protesters, including Native American activist Nathan Phillips.
The teen was targeted by online doxing and even received death threats.
Ted Sandmann testified in support of an anti-doxing bill. The bill proposes making it a crime to identify a minor online with the intent to intimidate, abuse, threaten, harass, or frighten him or her.
Ted Sandmann, the father of Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann, testifying in favor of bill that would ban publishing identifiable personal information or threats online. pic.twitter.com/9Y5FOh5Qor— Lawrence Smith (@LASmithReports) March 6, 2019
"Nick did nothing to instigate any trouble with Phillips," Ted Sandman said.
Early reports fueled by what turned out to be a fake twitter account, painted Sandmann as the instigator of the confrontation. By the time the story was corrected, the damage had been done.
"We are still far away from winning back my son's reputation," said Ted Sandmann. He and family attorney Todd V. McMurtry are backing Senate Bill 240 that would criminalize so-called doxing aimed at minors.
"We can't let the internet be a wild environment where we can abuse minors at will," said McMurtry.
Opponents warn the bill violates free speech, but despite concerns, the committee easily passed the bill. Sandmann was pleased, but knows it comes too late for his son. "What my son is going to go through the rest of his life -- can't be erased," he says.
If the bill makes it through the full Senate, it then goes to the House. But time is running out with the session wrapping up next week.
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