Why am I no longer a tree? Sticker in the streets of Slovenia, 2022 © by @Space_Utopian (Slovenia).
Opinion, Sticker art

Is stickering illegal?

In collaboration with Open AI

Sticker art, also known as sticker bombing and slap tagging, is a form of expression that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Various artists create stickers, often with political or social messages, and place them in public spaces on street signs, lampposts, electrical boxes, etc.

Now, we are souls who love slapping stickers in public places and places where people get to interact with them. But how illegal is stickering? Finding a straightforward answer to the topic takes a lot of effort. So we asked OpenAI to weigh in and offer us its two cents.

What OpenAI’s artificial intelligence had to say about the activity we love:

“The legality of sticker art varies depending on the location and the specific circumstances. In some cases, stickering may be considered vandalism and illegal. Vandalism is defined as the intentional damage or destruction of property. In many cases, stickering can be considered vandalism without the property owner’s permission.

However, some cities and communities have designated legal walls or areas where street art is allowed and encouraged. Some cities also have laws specifically addressing street art, such as permitting it in certain areas or conditions. It’s important to note that the legality of stickering also depends on the sticker’s message and context. For example, a sticker that promotes hate speech or violence would be illegal in many places, regardless of where it is placed.

In conclusion, whether stickering is illegal depends on the specific circumstances and location. It’s always best to check the local laws and regulations before sticking your slap tags in public spaces and to obtain permission from the property owner before leaving your slap tags on private property.”

Our two cents:

There is a lot of truth to what OpenAI wrote about the topic. The location and circumstances have a big impact on whether or not sticker art is considered illegal. Various municipalities across the globe are much less tolerant than others. Especially if they are run by a Mayor and a team of public servants who are more obsessed with keeping up appearances than with improving their constituents’ lives. Regardless, not being detected while putting up stickers is always a good idea because many places around the globe broadly define graffiti as “covering a surface.” Hence, for the police, this often includes stickering.

Although stickering is not strongly enforced in many places, you will find online testimonies about people who have actually gotten arrested for putting up stickers. Although the laws vary across the world from country to country, it is safe to assume that you might get in trouble for it if you’re in a big city with a significant police presence and many security cameras watching the streets.

That said, we believe that being considerate and not stickering anything that might upset people, such as cars, gravestones, or store windows, is a good practice. We believe in the freedom of choice. So we won’t tell you what to do or not do with your stickers. But we think it is reasonable not to slap your tags on private property without the owner’s consent.

You’re mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity.