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Tasmanian Cops Decline To "Censor Internet" 116

aesoteric writes "Tasmania's police force has taken the unusual step of asking the public to stop alerting it to every 'abusive or harassing' comment posted to Facebook or other social media sites. The force said it was 'increasingly receiving complaints' about material posted to the sites, but sought to clarify that 'the use of technology to undertake some conduct does not in itself create an offense.'"
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Tasmanian Cops Decline To "Censor Internet"

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  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @04:10AM (#40661029) Journal

    It is their own fault for implying they can do something.

    According to this site [tas.gov.au] they host or work with other sites to inform kids that what they are complaining about could be a crime. It's right there under the header "Department of Education (DoE) Tasmania"

    "This site presents information for school communities about the criminal offense of cyber bullying. Students should be informed that if they use technology in an inappropriate fashion then they could be committing a crime."

    My guess is that some people were sleeping in class when instructed on this, or some people got mad at comments posted and looked to find what could be done to discover that "It might be a criminal offense" connected to "cyber bullying" and considered the comments that offended them as bullying and a criminal offense.

    This is probably why it's the Tasmania police taking this unusual step too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @05:43AM (#40661263)

    Without being to specific, I can give you some context here as an actual Tasmanian.

    Right now Tasmania's police force is being forced to make such strict budget cuts. The budgets are so razor-thin that some outer-metropolitan police stations are having their staffed hours cut back to 10am-4pm on weekdays.

    Beyond that, anyone with a finger on the pulse of the Tasmanian community will tell you that while there is a great deal of respect for the job our Police do, there is a broad lack of community confidence in our state court system. As an all-to-common example, last month someone received a wholely-suspended sentence for ripping the heads off of two kittens in front of their owners. No I'm not making this up.

    When you look at these in context and take a step back, it's pretty obvious that all Tasmanian Police are saying is that they don't have either the resources or the legal power to do anything about online harassment. Unless an actual violent crime linked to online threats take place there's nothing material that they can do anyway, so people are far better off taking their complaints further up the chain to someone empowered to actually do something about it.

    Bloody mountains from molehills...

  • word (Score:2, Informative)

    by tryptogryphic ( 1985608 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @05:49AM (#40661285)
    I have a really big problem with this term 'cyber-bullying'.

    They are words on a screen. If you can't deal with words on a screen, if they crush your life, then the real world is going to eat you alive, and the evolutionary process will shit you right out the other end and use you as intellectual fertilizer.
  • by Dodgy G33za ( 1669772 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @06:48AM (#40661435)

    An incident off the ball can and should be consider assault with battery and should, in my opinion, be reported to the police.

    "Consent is implied to those things which are inherent in the sport. Participants are generally deemed to not consent to behaviour outside the laws of the game. Claims of foul play being a "normal" part of the game are in most cases rejected - i.e. illegal tackles

    McNamara v Duncan, 1971"

    And yes, it was an Australian case (AFL as it happens).

    And if you think the school has primary responsibility for educating your child I think you might have parenting a little be wrong.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton