Man Jailed for Four Months Over Facebook Page Rating Women (InformationLiberation)
Wednesday August 22nd, 2012
Offend people on Facebook, go to jail.
Via ABC News (Aus):
A central Victorian man who posted offensive personal comments about women on Facebook has been sentenced to four months in jail.The judge sure as hell did "send a message," he sent a message the government will jail you for your speech. Of course, they say he "took note" of his guilty plea, but rather than exhibit normal human empathy and reason, he chose to "act in his official capacity" rather than "as an individual," as Albert Jay Nock once described in "Anarchist's Progress" in The American Mercury (1927); § III : To Abolish Crime or to Monopolize It?
David McRory, 22, of Bendigo pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to offend and publishing objectionable material online on Facebook.
He and friend Joshua Turner, 22, created a Facebook page rating the sexual performance of women in central Victoria.
His lawyer told the Bendigo Magistrates Court his conduct was reckless rather than intentional.
But the prosecution argued that degrading comments could have a long-lasting effect on the victims.
The prosecution told the court McRory set up the page with a friend after seeing similar ones online, for other towns.
The court heard there was public outcry about the page, prompting police to remove it from Facebook and lay charges.
The court also heard McRory had a criminal history involving driving offences and financial deception.
The magistrate took note of McRory's guilty plea but said he must send a message to the public about his behaviour.
He was sentenced to four months jail but has been bailed pending an appeal in the County Court.
In July, Turner was banned from using Facebook for two years and given a wholly suspended six-month prison sentence.
Once, I remember, I ran across the case of a boy who had been sentenced to prison, a poor, scared little brat, who had intended something no worse than mischief, and it turned out to be a crime. The judge said he disliked to sentence the lad; it seemed the wrong thing to do; but the law left him no option. I was struck by this. The judge, then, was doing something as an official that he would not dream of doing as a man; and he could do it without any sense of responsibility, or discomfort, simply because he was acting as an official and not as a man. On this principle of action, it seemed to me that one could commit almost any kind of crime without getting into trouble with one's conscience.CNET reports the law he broke was "Part 10.6 of the Australian Criminal Code, Section 474.17: using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence; and publishing objectionable material online."
Clearly, a great crime had been committed against this boy; yet nobody who had had a hand in it — the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, the complaining witness, the policemen and jailers — felt any responsibility about it, because they were not acting as men, but as officials. Clearly, too, the public did not regard them as criminals, but rather as upright and conscientious men.
The idea came to me then, vaguely but unmistakably, that if the primary intention of government was not to abolish crime but merely to monopolize crime, no better device could be found for doing it than the inculcation of precisely this frame of mind in the officials and in the public; for the effect of this was to exempt both from any allegiance to those sanctions of humanity or decency which anyone of either class, acting as an individual, would have felt himself bound to respect — nay, would have wished to respect. This idea was vague at the moment, as I say, and I did not work it out for some years, but I think I never quite lost track of it from that time.
What one person considers "offensive" is entirely arbitrary and differs from person to person. This law could be used to jail literally every citizen in Australia if the government so pleased. The UK government has a very similar law on the books, and they too regularly jail people for posting "offensive" tweets and even anti-war Facebook comments. The U.S. of course has similar laws, and new ones are being pushed under the auspices of "anti-bullying" legislation. Heck, Anwar al-Awlaki was assassinated in a drone strike for his speech alone, the U.S. even killed his 16-yr-old American son for good measure. How's that for offensive?
Chris runs the website InformationLiberation.com, you can read more of his writings here. Follow infolib on twitter here.