Man Who Re-Uploaded Viral Baby Swinging Video Charged With Child Abuse?

from the are-they-serious? dept

It's really stunning how often we see the wrong people being blamed for things. It seems like once the internet gets involved, government officials let their brains go away. The latest example is sent to us by reader Stack, and it involves a man in Australia who has been charged with publishing child-abuse material. What did he do? He took a video of a man swinging a baby around, that was already all over the internet, and being shown on various news programs, and uploaded it to a video sharing site, LiveLeak, which focuses on videos of news or current events. To be clear: the guy who's being charged is not the guy in the video, doesn't know the guy in the video and had absolutely nothing to do with the video whatsoever, other than uploading it to LiveLeak.

As noted, the video itself is widely available. This guy was just sharing it on yet another video sharing site... and yet he gets charged with publishing child abuse materials. Should all the news programs that are showing the video be charged as well? It's a viral video. That means people share it. It's raised some interesting and important discussions about whether or not the guy in the video was putting the baby in danger (though, the baby apparently didn't seem to mind), but to charge this guy for simply distributing the video makes no sense at all. It's yet another indication of the nanny-state mentality where governments somehow decide that people shouldn't even be allowed to see anything controversial, lest they be so weak that they immediately have to copy it. Most humans don't work that way, and one of these days, maybe government officials will figure that out.
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Filed Under: australia, child abuse, videos, viral

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  1. identicon
    barrenwaste, 12 Dec 2008 @ 11:43am

    Re: poster 13

    It is wrong both because of intent and culpabillity. The man posted the video in question to a sight dealing with news and current events....just like the news agencies were doing. They weren't at fault, why was he? Also, he had no hand in making the video, simply reported it. The case could be made that he shouldn't be tattling, but morally, that's about it. Whether the video is real or not is really immaterial to the issue.

    Part of the problem is the use of the word publish. It has several meanings, some at odds with each other legally speaking. One definition states that making any content public is publishing it. By that definition all involved should be charged, including the newsies and the government. Another definition states that only those involved with the creation and original distribution can be said to have published it. In which case the man is blameless, and so are many others currently incarcerated.

    The other big issue here, is did the government have the right and responsibility to raid this man's home, whichever definition they choose to use, and publicly destroy his life. This is really the biggest issue. In my opinion, no. It is neither the right or responsibility of the government to publically humiliate suspects, in fact in many cases it is considered unlawful. So, why in this case, and ones like it, is it ok to destroy a life before they have been convicted of a crime? In the eyes of people like yourself, and there are far, far, far to many of them, this man will be forever marked. It does not matter the crime, no person should be forever marked. That was one of the things people faught to change.

    Our systems are designed so that the person or persons pay thier debt to society, change thier ways, and then re-enter society. The social behavior laws lately haven't been made with this in mind. Rather the opposite, with laws preventing people from re-entering society and laws that make common people who have done no moral wrong into criminals. Crime isn't getting worse, it's simply that, in the name of protecting the people, the governments have criminalised things that shouldn't be or that they should have no control over.

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