1. Oh noez! What did they do with Kochie?! lol

    The thing that intrigues me is that the embargo (to the best of my understanding) is only applicable in Victoria; pending Stephen Conroy’s filtering mechanism, is the emphasis on people of the world not to publish something that might not be public knowledge in one a small corner of the world… or is the responsibility on Victorians to just not use the internet?

    John Lacey’s last blog post..Is this ‘The Conversation’?

  2. Saw it this morning on Sunrise. Thought “Aha, Laurel will put the issue straight and allcoate responsibiity where it should be.” Hmmm, not so sure whether it didn’t leave more questions and create the impression in the general viewership that we bloggers and Twitterers aren’t just a lawless anarchic lot.

    “The community will resolve it’s own issues, in it’s own way, thank you very much.”

    Are you really advocating community vigilantism? Should we all go out and join a lynching party now? Sorry to sound glib but that line annoyed me. That is what the law is there for and this whole situation is about social media interfering with that process. There are enough cases of the community vilifying a person who later turned out to be innocent to show that this isn’t a justification for social media freedom in this case.

    John has the best point so far – how do you restrict publication on the net visible to Victoria without impinging on the rest of the world? (I think that’s what David Galbally was alluding to and not the wholesale shutdown of the internet!) As happened recently with the Underbelly supression order, many Victorians chose to download the show instead. But it has to be said that not nearly as many people saw the program and that it would therefore have had a lessened impact on the legal preceedings than if it had been originally broadcast on Nine as intended. Not a perfect solution but a compromised one.

    I have to say I have no answer to John’s point. Yet I also refuse to admit that we – as advocates for social media and representing the best interests of its users – should throw our hands in the air and say it’s all too hard. It is possible to trace and thereby prosecute bloggers who breach the order. It is possible – although time consuming – to shut down Facebook pages and warn the offenders (or ban for repeated abuse). And as the highest risk of offence would be from Victoria – ie; the people who knew the accused and decided to spread info – it is possible to restrict the damage caused by social media in these cases by warning off or taking action against Victorian offenders.

    The argument that the internet is too big or too complex to have clear rules, codes of conduct and potential laws governing it I think is a complete furphy.

    I think this is a debate not only worth having but essential to have.

    Kimota’s last blog post..Blogging the Arsonist – Citizen Journalism and Social Media Responsibility

    1. I didn’t actually say those words you ‘quote’.

      Legally, anyone can name this guy, and give his state (Victoria) and which bushfire region he is “responsible” for. What we are not allowed to do is say “I went to school with him” or “I know his mother”. I’m not advocating vigilantism. But I don’t believe a wholesale blackout for Victoria when the rest of the ‘net – Huffington Post, Guardian, Inquisitr in this case – are discussing freely aspects.

      The law is wrong. The presumed innocence or guilt of a suspect is not swayed by whether we know where he lives. And anyone wanting to know what he looked like could Google him, the suppression order is for Victoria only.

      BTW, a juror who doesnt know anything about the bushfires and alleged arson has to be shy a few IQ points, no?

      If I ever end up in court it will cost me a fortune – 89,800 sites to remove today with my words and images. God knows how many if people got serious about it.

      The law is a social relationship adjudicator, and it just needs to catch with it’s society. Because it’s not OK to say “we’ll ignore the discussions in the pubs, and footy, and offices, and just go for the ones online”. That town knows him, talks about him with their social network, it’s just under the counter.

      Lawyers attempting to enforce an unenforceable law make a lot of money and no difference. Change the law.

      And yes, this is my belief even if it’s me that is un/fairly, un/justly accused. I’ll manage my own reputation online – hiding behind “stop people discussing the case” is a false “cornerstone of a just law system”.

      1. Hi Laurel,

        the words I quoted are actually from your blog post directly above… 😉

        There have already been threats made against his family and abuse hurled at his ex-girlfriend, so I can understand why his address and photograph are considered sensitive and have been restricted in this way.

        And no one is suggesting jurors should not know anything about the bushfires and alleged arson. That’s not come up once in anything I’ve read or seen. What has come up is an attempt to restrict the spreading of hate-filled comments directed at the alleged arsonist and his family or the passing on of information that could lead to family and friends being victimised or the release of gossip from people who know the accused that could prejudice a trial. This isn’t about shutting down the internet in Vic for the duration, but merely restricting those few social media groups or blogs that seek to whip up trouble in this way.

        Any kind of media restrictino like this always has to take the individual circumstances into account. The accused doesn’t have the internet profile you do and tehrefore it was realistic to get the MySpace page taken down and prevent his photo getting out. But then the Telegraph did have to go ahead and plaster it on their front page and will presumably get slapped for it. In your circumstances, you are right. There is no reasonable way a court could expect to restrict access to online photographs or details about you, so if you were to find yourself in court, you may not be able to get such an order or the order would have to stipulate the supression of your name too – this was once an option in this case but was lifted because they didn’t see a risk in his name getting out, something that may change after this.

        A discussion in a pub is very, very different to one on a Facebook group with hundreds of members or on a blog that can get dugg, scraped, RSSed and otherwise sydnicated to potentially millions.The effect on one is virtually nil on a potential trial. The other can be catastrophic.

        Kimota’s last blog post..Blogging the Arsonist – Citizen Journalism and Social Media Responsibility

        1. oops. I thought you meant on telly. I wasn’t saying what I believe but how communities behave “the community believes they will resolve this problem themselves as a community”. Rather than “Laurel believes communities should resolve it themselves”. I probably shoulda put it in quotes, but it wasn’t a quote.

          Look I agree re: vigilantes but that’s not the discussion. The discussion is suppressing ALL conversation online. Your mother puts up in her knitting forum that she knows his mother -slam, the forum is shut down or she is deleted from the site. Your child puts on Habbo or Club Penguin that the police came to talk to the man next door wham gone. no ulterior motives, just hanging with some friends.

          It’s about reality of enforcing Pandora’s box that has been opened. Expectations in a few years is that no, it’s no use.

          I am the biggest advocate in the world for removing trolls from communities. I believe in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – the community must feel safe and policed. But discussing online is no different than offline for the next generation and they will scratch their head at the difference between using their phone to update on a dodgy neighbour -whether it’s voice or web.

          interesting, the lawyer/judge didnt’ talk about blogs. Only Facebook. I wonder why? *puzzled*

          1. “interesting, the lawyer/judge didnt’ talk about blogs. Only Facebook. I wonder why? *puzzled*”

            That would be because his understanding of the internets stops at whatever the SMH last ran a piece on, or his teenage step-daughter has admitted using.

            Besides, why would anyone actually take someone who wears a two-tone shirt from the 1980s as ‘credible’ [/snark]

            I’ll follow this up with an op-ed on my blog, L

            Lee Hopkins’s last blog post..Be a Social Media Guru in a mere 24 hours!

  3. He makes me angry, but has reasonalble point of view. However, his solution is completely inadequate.

    How bout we select a jury, get Men In Black to flash them so they can’t remember anything and lock them away in a room, that’d work well… No?

    I think the real solution is in the legal system and/or court process so that these kinds of communications don’t cause issues in the proceedings.

    I thought it was hilarious with the Underbelly example where the show wasn’t aired in Victoria during the case. Like people can’t watch it, tell their friends, download & forward videos… stupid!

    Simon T Small’s last blog post..How to fall out of love with your followers

  4. Laurel well done – hope it does not land you in more trouble then its worth. The problem our lawyer friend faces is that its not the providers/platforms problem to enforce what people do and say on facebook – its the individuals who are responsible – if you are worried find out who posted it – prosecute them – assuming they live in victoria and make an example of them… shutting down the internet/facebook is somewhat of a ludicrous knee jerk response – just the flick the switch ay? LOL

  5. Fascinating discussion, I can’t help thing that Laurel looked a little stunned by the lack of understanding David displayed.

    Frankly following David’s approach would need to result in the internet being shut down permanently within Australia as this would be the only way to prevent discussions online by individuals about various cases occurring around the country all the time.

    It’s a great controversial view to throw onto a breakfast program, but totally spurious and unsustainable in the modern world.

    Whilst I agree that the internet needs to operate within the law, law also needs to be developed that works with modern society – including the presence of an active and robust participatory internet.

    Craig Thomler’s last blog post..ATO launches credit card payment trial

  6. Thank you, that is very informative. So I am right to say that social networking is more of gathering a group of individuals with the same interests to form a community.

  7. I have to say that I am really impressed by it is to go through your blogand getting things rolling, this is an excellent site.

  8. Hi Mel & Kochie,
    I watch your show every day and we have just purchased a block of land and building starts in 3 weeks. With the interest rates going up we cannot fix our interest until the house is finnished in September. What do you suggest about fixing our loan, will it be extreme by September. Kevin Rudd has helped with the first home buyers but will we get shafted in the long run as we cannot fix our loan until our house is finished being built.

  9. This is what annoys me about Sunrise, or similar shows, they get these solicitors in who have no idea on the technology, how it would, more to the point, how it WOULDN’T work.

    Same about the Proposed NetFilter.. Arrgh it infuriates me.

    Laurel, Well done, you could have popped a few extra questions / statements to put it back on him and be scratching his head.. But never the less, well done!

    Ben May’s last blog post..Featured

  10. “A discussion in a pub is very, very different to one on a Facebook group with hundreds of members or on a blog that can get dugg, scraped, RSSed and otherwise sydnicated to potentially millions”

    Good point. See Cairns v Modi. One tweet can have an enormous impact.

    I think the Supreme Court of NSW in Macquarie Bank v Berg was correct in stating that they wouldn’t grant an interlocutory injunction to prevent the publication of material on the internet as this would be tantamount to imposing NSW law on the rest of the world. Although I realise that this was a defamation case (not privacy, not potentially contempt of court etc) I think the Judge had an understanding of the technology of the internet.

    The only way to shut off access to the internet is to wall it off geographically. Until the internet is balkanised by Governments, that won’t happen, and a significant minority will circumvent filters, as was demonstrated recently by the Egyptian internet shut down.

  11. Regarding the topic of smoking…I have never smoked in my life and knew as a child that I never would. But also understand how addictive this terrible drug is and we should be supporting our loved ones and friends who smoke to stop. The Govt will never do a damn thing as they make TOO much money.The medical profession should be able to have a larger voice in matters of curbing this problem.

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