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
    BTR1701, 13 Dec 2008 @ 7:16am

    Re: Here's the problem...

    > there are a lot of people (one would be too many) who will think
    > this is real, try it, and dislocate a child's arms or worse as a result.

    So what? And I mean that seriously. This ridiculous kindergarten approach to government has to stop, where 99.999% of the population is banned from doing something or punished for doing something merely because one idiot in a million doesn't know any better.

    It's the same rationale that makes gambling a crime in most jurisdictions in the USA. About 5% of the population of gamblers takes it too far and ends up gambling away all they have. So the 95% of us that have absolutely no problem with gambling for fun and knowing when to quit are told we're not allowed to do it, either.

    We can't dumb down society to the lowest common denominator. And I'm sure there will be someone who will chime in with "But if it saves just one child, it's worth it!" Nonsense. If that were the case, we would no longer have cars. Banning cars altogether would save thousands of children per year from death in vehicle accidents. So why don't we ban cars? I mean, if it saves just one child, it's worth it, right? Wrong. As a society we've determined that having cars is more valuable than saving those children. Seems harsh, but it's true. Likewise, putting people in jail for sharing fake videos of child acrobatics is a greater harm to society as a whole than saving the one child in a million who was unlucky enough to be born to a parent who is so bone-crushingly stupid as try a dangerous stunt with his kid merely because he saw it on a YouTube video.

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