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.

Filed Under: australia, child abuse, videos, viral

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 12 Dec 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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