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Look over there!

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, April 4th, 2013 - 13 comments
Categories: interweb, Judith Collins - Tags:

John Key needs some cover for his being caught out lying / incompetent / omitting stuff (/ insert your interpretation), so today the government is making sure it is Doing Something.

More importantly Doing Something about Bad People.

In this case, cyber-bullies. Fair enough, there’s some nasty people out there on t’internet, and we need to do something about them, says Joe Public.

Yes, says the Government – we have a laws against inciting to suicide, and harassing people: but we need new ones!

The best answer is prison!  We need to send more teenagers to criminal training school!

And look, it’s hard to define cyber-bullying, so we’ll make anything grossly offensive or knowingly false illegal.  John Key may need an exception for his current predicament, but then he’ll claim he didn’t know it was false.  As will everyone else.

Because who can prove what you know?

And who gets to decide what’s offensive?  I find this current government offensive, can I get them locked up?

Is there an out for satire?  Or is Scott about to be locked up for saying the Environment was?

All that’s before we get to the impracticalities of it – try enforcing all these requirements on overseas hosted websites for a start.  But I’ll let Lynn go into more detail on that.

But in the meantime at least the Government is Doing Something about Bad People.  So let’s all forget about this lying and omissions.

And as this post and every other one I’ve written will be offensive to the Government, I better get my coat – don’t want to be cold in that cell…

13 comments on “Look over there!”

  1. emergency mike 1

    I’m sure it’s no fun being ‘cyber-bullied’, but is this really a priority problem that our society faces today? I guess Paula Benebash has run one one too many distractions in recent times to have another go. And hey, nobody like bullies right? No doubt TVNZ will earnestly present the gubbament’s latest big idea.

    “It would also be an offence to send messages and post material online that was grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false, punishable by up to three months imprisonment or a $2000 fine.”

    I can only post if it’s, um, ‘decent’? Who is going to decide what does or doesn’t fit into this category? Will Whaleoil be shut down? What a joke.

  2. karol 2

    grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false,

    And will government ministers and the policies they develop be held to the same standard?

  3. Populuxe1 3

    Actually a few minutes searching the web shows fairly conclusively that cyberbullying is a very serious problem. Don’t make light of it – that’s just nasty.

    • emergency mike 3.1

      Who is making light of cyberbullying Pop?

      As Bunji pointed out in the OP we already have laws against harassment. Even the right-wing Sensible Sentencing Trust thinks it’s a waste of money.

      That was the point of this post, that the idea is useless, unnecessary, and impractical. Thus the real raison d’etre must surely be, as Bunji put it, the appearance of Doing Something about Something. And given the timing it’s not unreasonable to speculate that its primary purpose is quite possibly simply to distract people from the growing awareness that our PM can’t stop lying his arse off.

      Don’t willfully misrepresent the things people say – that’s just being a tr0ll.

  4. BM 4

    Another vote winner for National, especially amongst women with children.
    Policy which gives extra protection to their children is probably considered number one priority amongst this voting demographic.

  5. KiwiOverseas 5

    *shrug*

    Look at it this way, the government never helped me with my disability (though suffered discrimination in Australia and New Zealand), had to move to Aussie in the 1990s. Warp ahead to 2013, got depression, got turfed out of uni and am jobless living overseas with student debt my parents have to pay off*. The biggest cyberbullies or bullies of any sort come from the National party, god forbid those economic vandals getting another term

    *The lie National spin is that ALL student loan borrowers overseas can afford to pay, what next debt prisons?

    • UpandComer 5.1

      I think every single student in NZ takes either Fluoxetine or Citalopram or Vioxx and who knows what else it is today at some point. It’s almost a right of passage these days.

      What happened just out of interest, I’ve got a lot of sympathy for students and depression. My old lady before she passed away used to be a student councillor. Who knows, maybe I can suggest some advice based on a scenario she ran past me.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        “I think every single student in NZ takes either Fluoxetine or Citalopram or Vioxx and who knows what else it is today at some point. It’s almost a right of passage these days.”

        Can’t tell if you’re just grossly exaggerating or if you actually believe that…

        • Populuxe1 5.1.1.1

          You’re out of touch then – in the 1990s student health was handing out prozac like candy. Even now depression and anxiety meds are very common.

          • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1

            But then most students wouldn’t have to go to student health for a damned thing (except impairment certificates for a late assignment or shit exam ;) ).

            One thing I learned working with students: every time someone says “every single student”, they generally mean only one small proportion of students whom the speaker commonly encounters due to systematic bias, and then excludes exceptions due to confirmation bias.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      “*The lie National spin is that ALL student loan borrowers overseas can afford to pay, what next debt prisons?”

      No, not really, the point is if you can’t afford to be paying interest on your student loan and you live overseas, then you should come back to NZ where it is interest free.

      I mean that’s part of the deal, right? You get a student loan from the government with a very generous repayment schedule, on the proviso that you stay in NZ. Seems fair to me.

      Which is why I don’t understand all these people saying it’s middle-class welfare and it helps the rich etc and we should can it, and turn around and fret about the ‘brain drain’ and people leaving to go overseas. I’m quite sure that if my partner was paying interest on his student loan of $70k+ (Engineering PhD) he’d be looking to go overseas to earn more than he does here, just so he could pay it off faster.

  6. KiwiOverseas 6

    @Lanthanide: I can’t drive (took driving lessons for 5 years – but disability and depression got jn the way), so can’t pick up a trade. Can’t go job hunting because employers notice that I have depression or a disability. There are no decent jobs; tried searching for a year and found nothing. Staying in NZ on the sickness benefit doesn’t make someone well again, let alone give them a future. I always supported free education, as do my parents. Just unlike most struggling students overseas my parents can help me pay the $1000+ repayment. I am attempting to get self employed as I am tired of being nothing more than a robot to be abused by the system. University was a waste of time and money, most courses are designed to make money not educate.

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