Blame It On The Cameraphone, Not The Criminal

from the misplaced dept

This is a few days old, but probably worth mentioning: politicians in Greece have banned children from using mobile phones in school. Not because they’re a distraction, or for any semi-legitimate reason, but because a 16-year-old girl was gang raped, and some of her female classmates recorded the attack with their mobile phones. This is just the latest iteration of a common trend, like blaming phones for the idiots who “happy slap” people, or blaming YouTube for stupid people and criminals. Banning mobile phones from schools won’t stop another rape, all it does is make the Greek politicians look like they’re being tough on crime when they’re really doing nothing. While the article says “Teachers and psychologists have concluded that the video taping of bad behaviour encourages further disorder as well as competition amongst pupils to create increasingly shocking images,” that’s a cop out — the ability to record these disgusting, disturbing acts doesn’t make anyone do anything; to insinuate that this rape occurred because it could be easily recorded with a mobile phone merely abdicates the rapists of any responsibility. That’s the real issue here: none of these technologies are causing this behavior, and to blame violence on them is to let those that are actually responsible off the hook.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Blame It On The Cameraphone, Not The Criminal”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Disgusted says:

Ahh once again Greece...

Well, I’ve posted on here several times about Greece, I can cause I am Greek and Lived there for 4 years and once again their political system makes an ASS out of the country… I guess they love to look like retards…. God I’m glad I don’t live there anymore. There is no hope for that country anymore… They are a lost cause.. Now all the Greeks that will read this post will try to call me out and an curse at me in Greeklish and yada yada yada… because that is their true nature.. If you don’t believe me go watch any type of Greek televised debate and you’ll see that they never have anything intellectual to say, they just start fighting like old wives…Only thing they agree on is that they don’t want to technologically advance cause it’s the devil.. The Internet is the devil. Computers are the devil… The country is filled with Bobby Boushae’s(water boy’s) Moms… Let’s smarten up people. Ok let’s ban a phone cause someone caught a rape on a video, um use it for evidence??? If that’s the case let’s ban their money cause all the politicians use the government money to fatten their belly’s. I just hate the way that country is run… Makes me sad to think that my father owns a resort over there and it’s gonna be mine one day.. To think that I’ll have to put up with their shit one day is killin me… Now let the ones that live there start bashing me, C’mon I want it…

Anonymous Coward says:

It's not an either or proposition

While I don’t really agree with the idea that banning the camara phones will solve the problem, I don’t think that just because people are saying camara phones are exacerbating the problem doesn’t mean they’re saying the rapists are somehow innocent. People always seem to want to find a single cause for everything that goes wrong.

Louis says:

More of the Same

A similar thing is happening here in Germany where violent video games are being blamed for the recent spate of school shootings. A few politicians are pushing for the complete criminalization of “killerspiele”, as it is known here. Which will turn yours truly and millions of other gamers into genuine criminal offenders. Personally, I see it as just another witch-hunt dressed in the usual “who-will-save-our-children” guise.

Darrell says:


What was done to the girl is aweful, that it was taped makes it even worse. I say hang all of them that were involved and did nothing to help or stop it.

I do however think banning phones in school is a good thing, not because of them recording illegal acts but because it distracts from their education. Do the right thing for the wrong reason (the Greek authorities), or because it’s an excuse to do the right thing is the cowards way out, but that makes it no less the right thing to do.

Cameras of any ilk, like games or rock-n-roll, do not cause peoples behavior, they do make it easier for people to excuse their behavior. Cameras escpecially can cause a mob like behavior, but they are not the cause of it.

Sanguine Dream says:

A sad day...

In this day and age when most rape charges are hard to solve because of the heresay and did they really want to have sex we have a case in which the evidence was literally handed over on a silver platter (assuming the camera phone was silver) and they want to blame the phone?

I’m not versed in political double talk but I have a hard time believing even a politicain can make a believabale argument that would prove removal of the cameraphones would prevent rape.

If you’re gonna ban something then at least have the balls to do it for a real reason.

And to comment #8:

People always seem to want to find a single cause for everything that goes wrong.

Reason they do that is so they can push some magical cure all law that will save the children, evironment, or whatever the cause is for that election term.

Use some reality says:

You know as well as I that when a camera is around, it will cause some people to act like an idiot. Look at any live news broadcast, and you see people in the background acting like an idiot. Cameras show up and rioters start to act up.

If you deny that cameras don’t encourage and even cause behavior then you are either lying or stupid.

As for the case in Greece, the thing that surprised me was that a girl was the victim. I am surprised it wasn’t a boy.

KIKI says:

Blame It on The Camera Phone not the Crimminal..

That is a bunch of bull!!!! The focus should be okay we have evidence now how much time are these kids going to get… They need to know that this was a bad thing and all involvled should be punished how disgusting! Banning phones will not stop this behavior! But holding them accountable and punishing them will be more effective and will hopefully set an example for the rest of there peers..

typical meathead says:


What a typical meathead response… Someone makes a pretty reasonable point, namely the fact that greeks (since the dawn of their civiliation) have kind of had a thing for same sex relations, namely those involving minors and here come the meathead with the “i’ll beat your A__” response.. Bravo! Seriously why not use your SF training and finish up this mess in Iraq so my friends and family can come home.

Sanguine Dream says:

We dont deny that...

If you deny that cameras don’t encourage and even cause behavior then you are either lying or stupid.

We don’t deny it. But to think that simply banning camera phones is going stop outrageous behavior like that is gullible. We’re not just talking about making noise or disrupting class, this is rape. I highly doubt these guys saw a camera phone and were suddenly inspired to rape someone.

Disgusted says:

Notice all of you posting bashing Greeks are Anonymous Coward’s…Just like the insurgents I shoot every day hiding behind a mask. And to those that are telling me to learn to read or that I’m a meat head. Hmm… A meat head 6 months away from a masters… Probably better than some of you will ever do with your lives… Thank you and have a great day.

Michael says:

Re: Re:Disgusted

So do you think, Disgusted, that your Army training allows you to beat people up who piss you off? Do you think you will get away with it? Just curious. If someone in real life pissed you off, you would use your “omg uber” training and kick their ass… would you expect to go to jail? Probably not. The sad thing is, you probably wouldn’t.

1st Computer says:

Freedom Requires Responsibility

it is unfortunate that we are living in a world where everyone wants to be free to do their own thing without any controls or laws. as technology is racing forward to make many things possible very few of us think of the ramifications of all the new things that are possible. there are never any ethical questions about how we GRAB our FREEDOM and how it impacts anyone else. in the age of instant gratification or shame anything goes. what a sorrowful world we are changing into.

The infamous Joe says:

I less than three scapegoats.

I quoteth from the article:

“In other European nations parents provide their children with mobile phones because they are worried about sexual predators.

However, Greece remains a relatively safe country in that respect..”

So…this is what I got from this: Parents worry about sexual predators, so they buy their kid a phone. Okay, so then sexual predators attack a little girl at school.. so… naturally the school should take away they phones. Makes perfect sense. Obviously, the phone raped her.

I’m just glad politicians are the same across the globe.

and, to show some unrelated navy love to my meathead friend– a degree doesn’t make you a smart person, but how you handle yourself, on and off the computer, can make you seem pretty foolish. Remember you’re not just making yourself look foolish, but you’re dragging everyone’s opinion of the military with you. We’ve got enough things going against us as it is. I was a submarine sailor, and if that little gay joke offended you, they need to issue you fellas some thicker skin.

Conman says:


Why is it that everyone seems so intent on slamming the girls who took the video?
What were they supposed to do? they just got a brand new Vodafone treo 750v with an unlimited data plan and they’re not supposed to use it to post on youtube…….geeez.
I think the illegal aliens are to blame,…..or maybe Muslims,…..or maybe Jews,……or maybe Michael Richards,…… or maybe Elvis.
The truth is so simple, let everyone do whatever they want to whomever they want and dont do anything to stop it.
or maybe Blame the rest of us for passively standing by the wayside while our entire civilization crumbles around us because our parents were too scared to let us fight the bullies at school. if you dont take care of yourself, no one will.

Jack says:

Maybe it’s just me, I tried to video tape two guys coming out my neighbor window . I had no control of the camera it went flying as they were coming out the window and didn’t even get their faces on the tape. I ran as fast as I could and it wasn’t fast enough. The police did capture the two guys and they went away for three years. I didn’t have it in me to just stand and tape it. I did try, but I just couldn’t sit by an watch ( tape ) a crime . I know some people can , (not putting anyone down) I had all intents of getting them on tape for the police. Banning the phones from the kids makes no sense, I agree with that . It is sad that no one gets involved anymore. Except the criminals apparently.

Use some reality says:

Disqusted, who are you kidding? You found a university that awards masters while you are shooting people? Seems like you protest too much about the homosexuality issue, you used to bending over for the soap in the communal showers too much?

Seems to me the only person exhibiting keyboard courage here is you. That isn’t surprising though. You are either a troll or an idiot, and to tell the truth, I care about neither.

Anonymous Coward says:

to disgusted

you are SF? that means you sneak around, killing people, doing “the good” fight? right?

you are no more a terrorist to them as they are a terrorist to you. the difference, is that i think you are the good guy and they are the baddies. but if the iraqui were saying this, US are baddies and iraq are good.

so….yeah, it’s all on judgement.

lil'bit says:

To Disgusted

My apologies for all the ignorant jerks on this page. I’m extremely sorry that you are in Iraq and not in school, finishing up your Master’s.
I opposed the invasion of Iraq for a number of reasons, first and foremost – people like you, who go do the dirty work while the rest of us sit back and kvetch. It is unfortunate that the civilians that forced us into Iraq had absolutely no clue what anyone with even a little knowledge of the history of the region could have foretold. It is unfortunate that the US military has been forced into a role for which it is not designed nor trained (reconstruction and economic development) It is CRIMINAL that the same politicians that sent you off with a fanfare then snuck around in secret, attempting to slash funding for hazardsous duty pay, medical benefits to the injured, survivor’s benefits – need I go on?
It is equally criminal that approximately 40% of the population once supported the invasion and then, after seeing what a mess it became, decided that maybe they didn’t support it after all. Absolutely nothing has happened in Iraq, including the lack of any WMD, that could not have been foreseen by anyone who took an afternoon to do some research on the region and specifically, the US-Iraq (Hussein) alliance/enimity.

I may not believe in the reason for you being in Iraq but, as long as you are there, you have my support. The least i can do to show it is to continue to be viligent in doing what I can to safeguard your benefits and rights and those of your family.

(In the interests of full disclosure, my father retired from the Army Reserve as a Lt. Colonel; my mother worked for Selective Service in Southern California and Arizona for most of the Vietnam War years.)

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...