Google Glass Attack: Is Hating on 'Glassholes' Illegal?

By Brett Snider, Esq. on February 28, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Assault isn't really in the eye of the beholder, even if the victim is wearing Google Glass.

Google Glass user and tech writer Sarah Slocum reported Monday via Facebook that she was attacked and robbed at a San Francisco bar by "Google Glass haters." Slocum later recovered her Google Glass, but she says her phone and purse are still missing, San Francisco's KPIX-TV reports.

Is hating on "Glassholes" illegal?

Flame War Over Google Glass Incident

Shortly after Slocum posted her story on Facebook, users on both Facebook and Twitter emerged to dispute her story.

TomoNews presented a fairly succinct animated summary of the dispute on YouTube:

According to KPIX, many of the comments directed at Slocum suggest that she was the instigator of the incident, blaming her for "her decision to begin recording video as the situation escalated."

Slocum may have forgotten about Google's recent memo to all Google Glass "Explorers" about proper etiquette while wearing Google Glass in public. One particularly salient note advises users against being "Glassholes" -- yes, Google itself used that word -- recommending politeness and avoiding the creep factor that comes with having live a camera on your face.

That doesn't excuse the alleged assault or theft, however.

Proper Bar Etiquette re: Assault, Theft

Like Google, we may need to remind bar patrons about what counts as criminal behavior in any U.S. jurisdiction. Spoiler alert: Theft and assault are two examples.

While the truth of Slocum's allegations remains unclear -- and Glassholes continue to proliferate -- it is illegal to assault someone for using a tech toy that you hate. Celebrities get sued for assault all the time for over grabbing cameras from paparazzi -- and those things worth as much (or far more) than Google Glass.

And if in a moment of righteous Glass-hater rage, you feel compelled to rip someone's Glass off and smash it to smithereens... don't. Even if you don't intend to keep the Google Glass for yourself, your intent to permanently deprive that person of his or her tech toy is criminal.

Plus, even if Glass haters are rightfully irked by the intrusive presence of a Glasshole, threatening or harassing a bar patron is never a good idea.

This isn't Mos Eisley -- (An)droids are allowed in bars.

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