While we love it for Pinterest, sweet DIY tutorials and all the digital聽time wasters聽one can click on and get lost in, the聽Internet can be a not-so-happy聽place too. We鈥檙e all too familiar with the damage that can be done by Internet trolls, and one country has finally had enough. New Zealand recently passed a law that makes menacing digital communications a crime. It聽polices against messages to people that are, according to Engadget, 鈥渞acist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability.鈥 Go, NZ!

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While that may sound harsh, it鈥檚 not. In the US, online harassment聽is an epidemic. According to one聽US study published last month in the JAMA Pediatrics Medical Journal, 23聽percent of young people have reported being the victims of cyber bullying 鈥 that is nearly one in four聽teens. Cyber bullying has been linked to聽suicidal thoughts and suicide, and recently, even Facebook has聽stepped in to help with their聽suicide prevention feature聽meant to prevent bullying. Online harassment isn鈥檛 limited to school children, either.聽Revenge porn made headlines again last month聽when Google announced they would be removing these types of sites from their search. Revenge porn sites feature nude images uploaded maliciously and without consent, and sadly, women make up聽95 percent of the victims. While Google鈥檚 announcement was a huge win,聽we really shouldn鈥檛 just rely聽on individual companies to do聽the right thing.

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While聽there are some cyber stalking federal laws in the US in place, these聽laws are聽still very limited, and they don鈥檛 charge a person聽with a pattern of harassment that is absent of threat. And sure,聽individual states聽also have some form of聽cyber harassment or聽cyber stalking聽legislation in place, but it鈥檚 piecemeal and not as comprehensive as the law that New Zealand recently passed. So, hey, America, maybe we should take a page from New Zealand鈥檚 book and do something about聽that?

(h/t Engadget, photos via Matt Cardy/Getty + Sean Gallup/Getty)