Today the Australian Government stepped up it’s campaign to hide the extent the epidemic of bullying that is occurring in schools by banning the evidence. As social media sites continue to turn over the rock of social evils and shine a light on social ills that we assumed were “rare” or “exaggerated” the Government’s response is to blame the medium. If you are going to go after those that film bullies, why not go after the bullies themselves? Next step is to blame the tools – Facebook and YouTube. Is the world really a better place if we shove schoolyard bullying back into a dark corner where there are no adults watching?
The filming is only part of the story – what about the millions of viewers? Shall we make it illegal to watch the film of an assault? Social Media means media in both contexts – media as content and medium as channel/distribution. No filming OR distribution of social media that highlight incompetency of authority – police brutality, brutality to international students, brutality between school kids. Cos it might, y’know make us look bad.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that South Australia’s government is considering banning the filming of assaults.
The government told the ABC it would introduce legislation making it an offence to publish “humiliating or degrading” images of people without their consent.
State Attorney-General John Rau said the legislation would be the first of its kind in Australia.
The same state has had to back down on internet regulation legislation in the past, including draconian “political comment” laws that would have required any blogger publishing a political comment to also publish their name. The government backed down and repealed the law.
The relationship between bullying and YouTube has become a cause celebré in Oz, with a clip of a boy retaliating against a bully in western Sydney going viral over the last few days. YouTube has pulled the clip citing its terms of service, and the school has reportedly suspended the children involved.
From The Register