N.Y. May Ban 'Tiger Selfies' Trending on Tinder, Dating Sites - Legally Weird
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N.Y. May Ban 'Tiger Selfies' Trending on Tinder, Dating Sites

A bill passed by New York legislators seeks to outlaw so-called "tiger selfies" increasingly popping up on dating sites such as Tinder.

The bill actually wasn't drafted with these photos in mind. In fact, the bill's author, New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, hadn't even heard of the "tiger selfie" trend until after her bill was passed, reports CNET.

What are tiger selfies, and how would they be affected by this proposed law which awaits the governor's signature?

Tinder Guys With Tigers

It's hard to determine when (or how) men on dating sites such like Tinder and OK Cupid started posing with tigers for their profile images. But in recent months it has become a phenomenon, even inspiring a Tumblr blog called Tinder Guys with Tigers.

The blog is dedicated to "documenting the absurdly large number of dudes who have taken a picture with a tiger and are attempting to use said picture to woo women on the Internet." So far, more than 30 images have been submitted and posted on the site, all showing men posing perilously close to a presumably tame tiger.

Big Cat Bill

The New York bill, which is under consideration by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would technically outlaw any direct contact by members of the public with big cats such as tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards. It would impose a $500 fine for the first offense, and a $1,000 fine for subsequent offenses.

According to Assemblywoman Rosenthal, the bill is intended to increase public safety by cutting down on the odds of an animal attack. If, in the process, the law puts a damper on New York men trying to harness a little tiger mojo in their dating lives, well, Rosenthal is fine with that.

"Maybe they want to look like they're daredevils," Rosenthal told CNET, "but as anyone who works with wild animals knows, you can train them and hope that they remember what they've learned, but they're wild animals and by nature they're unpredictable."

Under the New York State Constitution, the governor has 10 days from the time the bill is transmitted for his approval to either sign or veto the bill, or it will automatically become law. If it does become law, the "tiger selfie" ban is set to take effect 180 days thereafter.

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