Social Question

GoldieAV16's avatar

Is glitter-bombing an assault, and if so what should the penalties or fines be for glitter-bombing?

Asked by GoldieAV16 (5393points) February 9th, 2012

Call me paranoid, but I’d be worried about getting a piece in my eye and scratching the cornea. And then there’s the fear factor, of not knowing what is being thrown at one. What do you think?

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53 Answers

downtide's avatar

Yes I think it’s an assault. As for the size of the fine, I have no idea. I would be furious if some random stranger covered me with glitter.

Blackberry's avatar

I guess in a strict technical sense, yes. But if it was done to me as I was out running errands, I’m not going to bother suing for damages or anything.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It is an assault, and all they have to do is substitute acid for the glitter and they could ruin someone’s life.

wilma's avatar

I have never heard of glitter-bombing, what exactly is it? Someone just throws glitter at you? Do people really do this? Adults are doing this?

YoBob's avatar

Glitter bombing?????

This is the first time I have heard of it. Of course that really doesn’t surprise me. Around these parts a “glitter bombing” is likely to go down something like this:

Glitter Bomber: (Tosses unknown object towards victim while laughing manically.)

“Victim”: (Pulls out concealed .45 in response to assault and empties 15 round magazine directly in the center of mass of his laughing assailant.)

(Fast forward to the grand jury investigation)

“Victim”: “There I was minding my own business when this crazy person lobs a projectile containing an unknown substance at me that exploded in my face. Half blinded, fearing for my life and wanting only to stop this lunatic from continuing his physical assault against me or any others, I exercised my right to use the means of defense available to me.”

Grand Jury: (In unison) CASE DISMISSED!!!!

GoldieAV16's avatar

It’s become quite common to glitter bomb politicians. I think that people feel it’s a harmless practice, but I’m not so sure…

Mitt Romney was hit this week for the 3rd or 4th time, and this time they’re pressing charges. The 20 yo could spend six months in jail!

LezboPirate's avatar

Oh my God, that would be fun.
I wish to be glitter-bombed now.

wilma's avatar

It sounds stupid and possibly dangerous. What if like you mentioned, some got in the eye, or was inhaled?
Yes it is and should be a crime and there should be a punishment.
A fine and possibly cleaning up in Kindergarten rooms, they often have lots of glitter on the floor. I would say harsher penalties for repeat offenders.

Coloma's avatar

I’m a fun loving type, so, as long as the intent was not malicious, why not?
A few years ago my daughter and I blew up about 50 confetti party poppers all over my bedroom, it was loads of fun. My bed and entire room, including us were covered in confetti. Besides glitter is pretty, I’d call it affirmative vandalism myself. lol

Seems pretty harmless to me.

wundayatta's avatar

Boy, it’s hard for me to take this very seriously. If glitter bombing is an assault, then wearing perfume that makes me gag is also an assault. So is smoking.

I’d love for perfume and smoke to be considered assaults. So, I’m going with yes! Glitter bombing is an assault. Glitter bombers should be sentenced to spend ten weekends re-educating fundamentalist Christians.

ucme's avatar

Sounds disturbingly similar to Elton John ejaculating, David Furnish would be furious, i’d imagine.

fundevogel's avatar

Are we really talking about the danger of glitter bombing? Isn’t that like worrying about toilet seat pregnancy?

I have a hard time seeing non-violent shenanigans as an assault. @WestRiverrat said:

“It is an assault, and all they have to do is substitute acid for the glitter and they could ruin someone’s life.”

But there is nothing comparable about tossing glitter at someone and throwing acid at them. Yes, if you fundamentally alter the action in question it could be very dangerous, but how is that a criticism of the action we’re actually talking about?

LezboPirate's avatar

I agree with this guy. ^^^

jca's avatar

I wear contacts and if I got a piece of glitter in my eye, it might be painful and harmful. I think glitter is a bit different than confetti. Confetti is usually made of paper and the pieces are about ¼ inch by ¼ inch. Glitter is tiny and usually made from aluminum foil-like substance, which would be sharp if it got in the eyes. I think to have a ton of glitter thrown at you might be disorienting and since it’s probably done with several people around and maybe some yelling, it might therefore be scary.

wilma's avatar

It’s the eyes and inhalation that I worry about. Also, imagine that you have spent a lot of money on clothes and hair and makeup for an event and then just as you arrive someone ruins it all with this “glitter-bomb”.
We aren’t talking about confetti as @jca mentions. Confetti is easier to remove and clean up and a lot less dangerous to eyes and lungs.
What if someone smeared shaving cream all over you? Would that be OK? What if it ruined your clothes? Got in your eyes?
Take the politicians out of it, if you can’t get past the thrilling idea of Mitt Romney covered in Glitter in public.
Would you want this to happen to your grandpa? How about your mom or prenant girlfriend?

TexasDude's avatar

Wikipedia says that glitter is made up of “pieces of copolymer plastics, aluminum foil, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, bismuth oxychloride or other materials.” Source

That shit is bad for your eyes, as a bunch of other people have said. As for whether glitter bombing should be considered assault or not, I’m not really sure. The dictionary defines assault as “a physical attack” which is actually kind of vague. I don’t really know what the legal definition for assault is, but it’s probably different or more specific. As for my give-a-fuck-ometer, glitter bombing and whether it is assault or not registers incredibly low. That said, I still think it’s kind of dumb. Your mileage may vary.

ddude1116's avatar

Oh, come on, the worst that could happen is you look tacky for a day. It’s a mild annoyance, but the chances of it getting caught in your eye is slim or actually causing any physical pain. That being said, if somebody retaliates because they’re unaware of what’s going on and hurts the person glitter-bombing them, they should get off the hook. It’s virtually harmless; the most severe punishment for the act should be a stern warning.

Edit. That being said, if you’re dumb enough to do this to a person with personal security, or somebody who has ‘getting death threats’ as an occupational requirement, I have no sympathy for your arrest.

Brian1946's avatar


“I agree with this guy.”

And I’m sure that she agrees with you. ;-)

mrrich724's avatar

Technically, yes. But I think it’s absurd that anyone would be mad about it though. You wipe it off, LAUGH INTENSELY and move on. You’ll have an awesome story to tell.

I’ve gotten way worse stuff than glitter in my eye. A piece of metal, sawdust, my own hair, and my corneas are fine, LOL

WestRiverrat's avatar

It might seem ridiculous to prosecute some one for glitter-bombing until you consider, the people that are protecting the presidential candidates have no way of knowing if the object getting thrown at the people they are assigned to protect is dangerous or a gag.

If some poor Secret Service agent mistakes a glitter bomb for a real bomb and shoots the person doing the throwing, that agent’s career is pretty much over, even if he is cleared of any wrongdoing. Same if it is a real bomb and the agent reacts like it is a glitterbomb.

jazmina88's avatar

do people throw vegetables anymore??

I wouldnt mind a glitter bomb and I think Mitt is a big brat. But if not stopped, folks would get more serious, perhaps.

jca's avatar

I think the bottom line is that you are not only not supposed to hit people or touch them actually, but you are also not supposed to throw things at them, spray paint them, shoot them with water guns, spit on them, or throw things on them, whether those things are relatively harmless like pies or whatever. Just because some of us may not find glitter upsetting does not mean it’s ok to do it, and the line has to be drawn somewhere. So the line is drawn at “you’re not supposed to throw anything onto someone, whether or not we think it’s funny or harmless.”

wilma's avatar

It is a bit like a pie in the face isn’t it?

fundevogel's avatar

@WestRiverrat I guess I misread your intent. Though I’m not sure what the probably of confusing the two would be. People don’t really throw bombs these days and you couldn’t really deliver acid in the same way either. I guess what we would really need to figure out is does someone releasing a glitter bomb look like a potential threat? I don’t know the answer to that.

anartist's avatar

I think glitter landing on your fancy clothes might enhance them for a stellar event, not ruin them. As for glitter being dangerous, well danger is everywhere. I nearly lost my eye to rinsing my contact in water that contained

BTW @ica is glitter thrown directly AT them? Or is thrown above them like confetti is thrown at a wedding? That may be the fine line distinction between assault and not.

fundevogel's avatar

I served in the glitter wars of 2002 and there were no casualties….and we were pretty aggressive. Glitter doesn’t actually go very far when you throw it since it’s so light. You’d probably have to be trying to actually get it in someone’s eyes. Assuming you don’t have a weaponized glitter delivery system that is.

fundevogel's avatar

Well now I know what to put on my Christmas list.

LezboPirate's avatar

I’m sticking with “guy,” as I call most people “Sir” regardless of their gender. And I do sometimes call men Ma’am.

TexasDude's avatar

@Blackberry sent this to me and I think it is incredibly relevant.

Coloma's avatar

I’ll take glitter over rotten tomatoes any day of the week. ;-)
Could be a lot worse, could be Anthrax filled balloons. lol

jca's avatar

Do we know if legally it counts as assault?

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Any unwanted touch is a battery. Throwing something on someone is considered a battery.

fundevogel's avatar

@MollyMcGuire Seems extreme. What if you touch someone on the far end of the autism spectrum? Automatically battery?

jca's avatar

@fundevogel: I don’t understand what you mean about autism. You mean if the person being touched has autism?

If you go up to someone and poke them in the chest, and they don’t like it (maybe if it was during an angry conversaton), then yes, it’s battery.

fundevogel's avatar

@jca Yeah, that’s what I meant. It just seems totally unreasonable for all unwanted touching to be battery. People do time for battery. Don’t you think it ought to just describe action that actually merits that sort of consequence?

jca's avatar

@fundevogel: I think if the touching is unwanted (and enough that the person would call the police over it and press charges) then the consequence would be determined by the judge. If I went up to you in a store and touched your arm as i asked you a question, even though you may not have wanted me to touch you, it would not be enough that you would call the cops, wait for their arrival and press charges. I think the “unwanted touch” has to be black and white, and the cops and judge can figure out the rest.

LezboPirate's avatar

Yeah, I don’t think anyone had to touch you to throw glitter on you. I do believe that you would barely feel it, if you felt it at all. It’s just silly.

jca's avatar

@LezboPirate: True, but throwing things on someone is also classified as assault, as is spitting on someone.

LezboPirate's avatar

I’m just saying.. I’m not worried about anyone throwing glitter on me. It’s just like “Poop-dicking” someone. It’s funny and nobody is injured.

YoBob's avatar

Almost afraid to ask, but what is “Poop-dicking”?

LezboPirate's avatar

It’s finding a busy street, rolling down your window and yelling “Poop dick” at strangers. They always look confused. It sounds childish and stupid (and it is) but it is one of the funniest things to just sit back and watch happen.

I’m laughing a little bit right now, just thinking about the last time I went along for the ride.

YoBob's avatar


And here I thought this was about to turn into a NSFW thread…

anartist's avatar

I guess dick-punching is out . . .

Jeruba's avatar

From the linked story:

Denver police say the action is a threat, no matter what object or substance is thrown.

“You can say what you want to say, but you cannot physically put something on someone or assault them with something. That is not within your rights,” Sonny Jackson with Denver police said, according to CBS Denver.

How is this not true? On what grounds is it arguable that it is within one’s rights to physically put some unwanted substance onto another person’s body?

fundevogel's avatar

If I go out and blow soap bubbles at people is that assault too?

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@fundevogel Under the law that is a battery if the people do not want to be bubbled. If you put people in fear of an immediate battery, that is an assault.

fundevogel's avatar

@MollyMcGuire That’s it. The end is upon us. The ship of toenail clippings is coming, the wolf will break it’s fetters and the serpent that circles the earth shall tire of the taste of its own tail.

flutherother's avatar

@fundevogel “The ship of toenail clippings is coming”. I love it. Your turn of phrase has made my day!

fundevogel's avatar

Thank you, though I’m not actually the one that came up with it. It goes by the name Naglfar.

flutherother's avatar

Well someone somewhere had a wonderful imagination. I won’t worry about global warming now I know it’s the improper disposal of nail clippings which threatens the well-being of the cosmos.

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