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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jesse, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 9:28am

    Excellent point about the news media publishing it. If tv stations can publish it, then there is no reason that viewers shouldn't be able to as well.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 9:34am

    I just saw the video... urge to swing baby increasing beyond the breaking point! Why wasn't my government proactive enough to stop me from seeing this video and then becoming a monster! URK! GAK! GRAAAAGH HULK SWING BABY!

     

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  3.  
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    barrenwaste, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Never hurts to say it again.

    This lawsuit raises several issues, none of them new. Unfortunately, this case falls easily within the bounds of current societal trends. Nothing that is even potentialy harmful can or should be legal. Nothing that is even potentially harmful can or should be reported by any other than government sanctioned sources. And finally, any person or persons found to be reporting or enacting anything potentially harmful should be removed from society in the most public way possible.

    Bumper padding, that's what it is. And that bumper padding, while sounding good when it first touches your ear, is anything but. I am not advocating or condoning the actions taken in the video, mostly because I have not seen the video and so cannot make a judgement. However, just because injury can be done by a certain item or behavior, does not mean that item or behavior should be criminalised. After all, doctors can heal with scalpels and medication, or kill with scalpels and medication.

    Transportation can be harmful. Should we criminalise owning a vehicle? Ideas can cause harmful effects, should thought be outlawed? You may scoff at these questions, but look at what has gone before. Many of these child safety laws would have been scoffed at as well, and yet they now exist. This isn't progress, this isn't making the world a better place. This is regression, taking the power from the people and putting back into the hands of a select few.

    You no longer have the right to raise your children as you see fit, teach your children certain ideas and philosophies. You cannot discipline your child with any method excepting words and denial of a few selected privilages. Adults cannot speak thier minds in public, for fear a child may hear the unpleasant aspects of reality. We do not live in a world of less danger, we live in a world where the danger is the people supposedly protecting us.

    The only problem with democracy is that the majority of the people in today's world are lazy and stupid. People perfectly willing to give up thier freedoms in return for others making all the hard decisions. Bah, our ancestors must be rolling over in thier graves and the gods rolling on the floor at the irony of it all.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 9:50am

    Haha people really believe that's a real video? It's so freaking fake looking. The video is sped up, looped, etc. Look at the TV in the background. In sync before the baby gets the guy and then way out of vsync. Baby looks very fake when he's swinging it around by one arm and whiplashing him under his legs.

     

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  5.  
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    Reason, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    Our Government Protectors

    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.

    I think the problem is that government officials DO work that way. Monkey see, monkey do. The problem is, we're governed by monkeys.

     

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  6.  
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    Mike, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 10:00am

    780000 supporters

    Liveleak is behind Biggles9, all 780,000 of us. We spent the last two weeks making sure every media outlet on the planet knows about this, and we will not let this go unchallenged.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 10:41am

    This is really incredible. Someone who watched this video where the guy is is flipping the baby twisting his 360 degrees at the shoulder actually thinks it's real. Anyone with half a brain can see this is a fake extremely edited video. The baby would have dislocated shoulders, broken arms, wrists, everything if it were real. People are extremely gullible apparently.

     

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  8.  
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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Dec 12th, 2008 @ 10:55am

    Here's the problem...

    The problem here, all issues of free speech or the fact that this is clearly fake aside, is that 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.

    It's a result of living in a society where we are being dumbed down to level of slow children, and everything is being done to protect people from the consequences of their actions. Regardless of anything, it's possible, even likely, that this video will result in someone being harmed, possibly seriously, even life-threateningly.

    The real question is: How do you maintain a society of literal idiots?

    I'm not proposing some kind of objectivist Darwinism of letting the stupid suffer from their consequences no matter what, but how far do you go to protect people who are, by all objective standards, simply retarded?

     

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  9.  
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    bubba, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    but if its fake...

    he could still be screwed since australia rules that cartoons can even be porn... http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/simpsonsstyle-cartoon-is-child-porn/2008/12/08/1228584707575.htm l

    good thing he's like 60 so he only has to live 20 more years or so of a destroyed life...

     

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  10.  
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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Dec 12th, 2008 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    Why is the TV even there... it's just a distraction to the illusion.

    OTOH, I think a lot of people, especially ones with no experience with babies (and you'd be surprised how many there are) will believe this. I recall an adult, around age 30 (successful professional, smart guy) being introduced to my oldest child who was around 2 months old, and commenting, "So he's what, about 2 years old?" I can't imagine being so ignorant of the basics of human development, but face it, if you're a single child raised in a neighborhood with very few children, this is quite possible.

    That's the society we are creating where so many people are so out of touch with reality, that they could, even would be likely to, see this as real. The level of gullibility of average people (even smart ones) constantly amazes me.

     

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  11.  
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    Xiera, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Swinging baby

    That used to be good times as a young child...

     

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  12.  
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    Rob, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 11:08am

    Development

    Why would anyone who has never raised children have any clue about child development and what they look like at different ages? I have no kids of my own, and most of my friends' kids are in school - but I can't tell from looking at them if they are in grade one or grade 5. Kids all develop differently.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 11:12am

    "This guy was just sharing it on yet another video sharing site... and yet he gets charged with publishing child abuse materials."

    Uhm... And this is wrong how exactly?
    This after determining the video is real naturally.

     

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  14.  
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    TDR, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 11:36am

    Re: Our Government Protectors

    Then maybe they should be paid in bananas...

     

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  15.  
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    barrenwaste, Dec 12th, 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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  16.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 12th, 2008 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Here's the problem...

    I'm personally all for this kind of video as it allows idiots to expose themselves in a public place (and therefore be investigated and prosecuted as necessary). Like the car thieves who upload their high-speed chases to YouTube, people like the one who made the video only make their crimes easier to both detect and prosecute, making life easier for everyone. If an actual crime is featured in a video, the person responsible should face whatever the cost of that action is.

    Unfortunately, there's idiots on both sides of the law. In this case, the guy who uploaded the video clearly had nothing to do with its creation. Time and resources are wasted going after this guy while the person committing the act apparently goes free - assuming a crime was committed at all. That's wrong, and yet another example of laws and/or intelligence among prosecutors that's lacking.

    As for whether or not people will try this, it's a sad fact of life that there's a lot of gullible fools out there. However, I don't think that Richard Donner should have been prosecuted for all those fools trying to jump off buildings when the original Superman was released, nor do I think that the Jackass guys are responsible if someone with a few brain cells short copy them. So, I don't think the makers of these videos should be held responsible for the idiots who follow.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re: poster 13

    "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."

    Seems like the way to go to me. Hold everyone to a higgher standard. Naive perhaps, but correct.

    "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."

    So let the child porn flow freely as long as we take no part in its initial creation and distribution?

    Seems to me these days that all issues comes down to very well worded BS.
    And I can't help but think that people should just stop talking for a second and let some oxygen reach their brains.
    Passing a video of a man throwing a kid around isn't morally right.
    Now if it isn't morally right, then don't do it.
    The end.
    Better world. Rainbows and pink clouds.

     

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  18.  
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    Valkor, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    "Uhm... And this is wrong how exactly?"

    Well, let's start with "child abuse materials". This sounds like it was intended as a euphanism for kiddie porn, and now it's being applied to this.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re:

    So by your standards it is OK to throw a kid around?

     

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  20.  
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    Mike (profile), Dec 12th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So by your standards it is OK to throw a kid around?

    No one's saying it's ok to throw a kid around. They're saying if it's illegal to throw the kid around, blame the person who *ACTUALLY* threw the kid around.

    Not the person who passed on a video that was widely available already.

    Is it that difficult to comprehend the difference?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 2:57pm

    this is absurd

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, so again.
    Passing around child porn is OK by your standards...

     

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  23.  
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    Mark Regan, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    But what abut the ceiling fan?

    Did you ever wonder why the baby's hair is so short? It's that darn ceiling fan.

    Seriously, if claims that the video is faked are true, then it's even a finer line. And if cartoons and altered reality are illegal, pretty soon we'll have to arrest the Secretary of Treasury for printing all that "funny money>"

     

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  24.  
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    John, Dec 12th, 2008 @ 5:59pm

    If they charge this guy with "publishing"...

    ... then they should charge every news station, every website hosting the video, and everyone else who's "published", "shared" or "distributed" it.

    And what will this "law" do to the news organizations if they can't report on stories like this because they're now "publishing" a criminal activity?

    As usual, this is simply a case of going after the easiest target. Does anyone know the name of the guy in the video or where he lives? No, but it's a simple matter to read the user-profile of the guy who posted the video... just like it's easier to sue Google or YouTube than to track down the actual person who's doing something wrong.

     

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  25.  
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    BTR1701, Dec 13th, 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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  26.  
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    BTR1701, Dec 13th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > Passing around child porn is OK by your standards...

    For your child porn analogy to hold any validity, it would have to be a situation where millions of people worldwide were already sharing the particular porn clip with no legal repercussions, as well as TV news stations airing the clip on their newscasts with no legal repercussions.

    Only under those circumstances would your ridiculous attempt to equate this issue with child porn be even remotely relevant.

     

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  27.  
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    BTR1701, Dec 13th, 2008 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: poster 13

    > Passing a video of a man throwing a kid around isn't morally right.
    > Now if it isn't morally right, then don't do it.

    We don't put people in prison for violating morals. We put them in prison for violating laws.

    As it should be.

    What you believe to be moral, I might believe is immoral, and vice versa. And your view of morality is no more objectively correct than anyone else's.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2008 @ 1:39am

    Re: Development

    Why would anyone who has never raised children have any clue about child development and what they look like at different ages?

    Maybe because you're also a human being and supposedly not thick as shit?

    But, from your comment I guess you're either chimp, or have the intelligence of one.

     

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  29.  
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    Peter E Retep, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    I guess they'd better arrest the BBC, and the Benny [over the] Hill mob, and also Monty Python, the cast and crew and exhibitors and rental services for The Untouchables, the entire Soviet Film Industry [Potemkin], Warner Brothers and Disney cartoon studios, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and even Peter Bogdanovitch, Ryan O'Neil and Barbra Streisand [What's Up Doc] for all their showing of emperiled baby carriages.

    (& Here we do have a problem with nannies testing traffic at intersections with the baby carriages in their charge!)

    I've got a little list, they never would be missed - - -

     

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  30.  
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    kim, Feb 4th, 2009 @ 7:10pm

    kim reese

    well yes what he did was wrong.
    but i really dont think
    he was trying to hurt the
    baby. he made a wrong judement
    as we are do in our lifetime.
    but just maybe im wrong.
    and he was huring the baby
    only him and god know.

     

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  31.  
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    megan, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    child abuse

    it is so wrong that people do that to kids or baby's or teenagers

     

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  32.  
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    hey, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re: kim reese

    u r wrong and thats not a good thing to do

     

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  33.  
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    hi, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: child abuse

    i agree with you thanks for saying that

     

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  34.  
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    kim, Apr 11th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    on that poor baby

    well if it fake or
    not it never should
    not even done it
    wrong wrong
    my comment
    from marie6116

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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