An R18 for Facebook

February 9th, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The SMH reports:

The mother of a 14-year-old girl at the centre of an Australian “sexting” scandal that has seen three boys convicted of underage sex crimes has called for to be banned for under-18s.

Yeah that will work – try to kick 10 million+ teenagers off Facebook. Good uck with that.

The boys responsible avoided serving jail time after pleading guilty in the Bunbury Children’s Court to raping a girl over 13 and under 16, and are now registered sex offenders despite being aged 15 and 16 themselves.

In court it was revealed the boys had been drinking when they convinced the girl to sneak out on a Friday night, on August 27 last year, and meet them in a local park.

The boys then brought her back to one of the 16-year-olds’ homes where she was plied with vodka and gave the boy oral sex. She then had intercourse with his other two friends in the bedroom. The sexual acts were filmed on a mobile phone and sent to others.

And so we blame Facebook for this? I blame the kids involved – not the Internet or Facebook.

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41 Responses to “An R18 for Facebook”

  1. Bob (479 comments) says:

    I agree with you. It’s like blaming the car for bad driving.

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  2. dime (9,429 comments) says:

    poor kid. dam some guys are shitbags.

    was it rape cause she was underage? i just ask cause if phil goff had his way, sex between 12 year olds would be fine.. so this incident wouldnt have been rape..

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  3. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    Or perhaps we should blame the phone.
    What attractive adults these boys will become.

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  4. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Quite right, David. It’s the victim’s fault, obviously. Just as it is the fault, somehow, of every woman who is raped because she “asked for it” in some way, or just because she is a woman.

    We actually do have all sorts of laws to protect people from themselves and from predators.

    While I completely agree that it would appear impractical to formally ban under 18s from Facebook etc, what you could have pointed out is the standard advice to always supervise your child’s time on the internet; ensuring the computer is located in a family area is important.

    [DPF: That's a disgustng smear one me, suggesting I blame rape victims. 20 demerits and it should be more. ]

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  5. redqueen (456 comments) says:

    No responsibility on the part of the parent, obviously. Did it ever occur to her that this sort of thing might be an indictment of her own parenting? Notice lots of kids, thanks to parenting, don’t have these sorts of problems.

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  6. adze (1,864 comments) says:

    I love how in cases like this when both partners are underage, only the boy is charged. Some are more equal than others!

    On topic, FB is certainly opening up some curly legal and ethical issues; sovereignty, IP, privacy, market monopolies..

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  7. Caleb (467 comments) says:

    except you underestimate how hard it is to be a parent of teenagers, in society today.

    texting, facebook, consumerism, trying to fit in.

    why not have no restrictions on alcohol, sex, dvds, games, tv programing, language, etc.

    just make it the parents responsibility, good luck.. you would need it.

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  8. Shunda barunda (2,965 comments) says:

    Ban facebook period!!
    It is a breeding ground for narcissists, tow faced gossips, and the pathologically insecure.

    I have an account for research purposes! :)

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  9. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    “I agree with you. It’s like blaming the car for bad driving.”
    Terrible analogy. Car’s can not be used until you have a license. The internet is available to all and sundry with very little control, therefore it is now the weapon of choice for those wishing to groom, coerce or otherwise influence those that they should not.

    I agree that companies like facebook need to take a greater responsibility for the harm their services can cause, even if it is as simple as funding awareness campaigns through main stream media as well as online. In this case I would suspect that while the boys knew what they were doing was ‘bad’ they probably did not fully appreciate just how their behaviour would continue to affect the victim, or the extent to which their actions would affect them once they were caught.

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  10. Manolo (13,363 comments) says:

    It is a breeding ground for narcissists, tow faced gossips, and the pathologically insecure.

    Shunda has said something sensible. At last! :D

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  11. Shunda barunda (2,965 comments) says:

    Tow faced gossips? what is a tow face?

    Sure sign that I need more coffee.
    And more coffee I shall have!

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  12. MT_Tinman (2,990 comments) says:

    Three boys, thanks to a willing sheila – no hint of force by the boys in the story – are now registered sex offenders, something that will follow them for the term of that registration (I suspect the rest of their lives).

    They will be unable to travel freely, live freely and the only position of importance open to them will be Prime Minister of Italy.

    The sheila escapes unharmed although now unable to converse with her 40 year old male friends quite so easily.

    Don’t just make it R18, ban Facebook completely

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  13. dime (9,429 comments) says:

    tinny – they filmed her and sent the clips to friends. that is fuckin low.

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  14. Brian Smaller (3,990 comments) says:

    14 is about the average age that girls start having sex nowadays so why is this news?

    As far as FB goes, we live in a very rural area and FB is a great way for the kids to keep in touch with their friends in other towns. what you do is make sure your computer is in a ‘public’ access area in your house and if you are really sneaky – put some tracking/logging software on your pc so you can snoop on your kids if you don’t trust them. Banning FB – yeah right.

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  15. MT_Tinman (2,990 comments) says:

    dime (2,802) Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:56 am
    tinny – they filmed her and sent the clips to friends. that is fuckin low.

    Dime I agree but …….

    There is no suggestion that these boys, basically the same age as the sheila, did so covertly or forced her to take part.

    The fact that her facebook friends list contained 40yo men (note not 40yos pretending to be teenagers) suggests she is no innocent.

    I took some young fellows (first year university students) home a short while back who explained to me that they had erected a camera in a bedroom at their flat and never had it so good.

    Filming everything you do seems to be the in thing nowdays, the young fellows are no exception to that.

    I’m pleased I’m an old fart and was young pre-technology.

    I might also, at 15 or 16, been tempted.

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  16. adze (1,864 comments) says:

    Dime, agreed that part is low and I agree charges should be forthcoming for that. I just think it’s perverse that when both partners are underage, and where no force or coercion is present, only the boy is charged with underage sex. Especially when the long term consequences as noted by Tinman are taken into account. They should both be charged, or both referred to youth aid (or its equivalent).

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  17. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    I’m confused as to why FaceBook is being criticised. It is mentioned in three contexts in the article:

    1. Photos of the sex were destined for FaceBook. But then they asked FaceBook to remove images, which seems to contradict the “destined” aspect. None of this sounds likely since the article also talks about filming… How likely were the boys to take snapshots from a video? How likely were they to share photos of illegal activity in a semi-public forum? Even if the FaceBook connection were proved, then what is the relevance of the sharing mechanism… it could have been FlickR, e-mail, or a printer and the postal system.

    2. After the sex was uncovered, the girl’s parents checked her friends list and found that some of her friends were 40 year old men. Presumably none of whom had sex with her.

    3. The call to restrict FaceBook to over 18s.

    The mention of FaceBook is a red herring. Rather than a boring story of a girl who had sex with some of her friends while under the influence of alcohol, they’re trying to introduce fear of technology. And what better technology than one that people either love or hate already, where there is a film currently in release, and where the founder was Time’s Man of the Year.

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  18. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “I might also, at 15 or 16, been tempted.”

    Nice Tinman. Good to see some honest humanity. Most of us at that age would be tempted.

    And if it wasn’t FB it would be Myspace or Bebo. The internet is really the only innovation separating us from the 1980′s.

    The collusion between Wall St and the White House is keeping the world in a no progress state.

    Watch “Inside Job” or go online to Max Keiser. I know amazing amounts of criminal knowledge abnout goldman sachs, J P Morgan and the White House that I am definitely not sposed to.

    For instance, did you know Dick Cheney had vids of Iraqi boys being sodomised in detention shipped back to him in the US.

    Keiser went public with that and he’s not being sued.

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  19. Scott (1,707 comments) says:

    It all just seems really horrible to me. That teenage boys would behave so badly. I think they should get everything that is coming to them.

    Technology does seem to be a problem in that it makes things possible that previously could not be done easily and cheaply — such as filming yourself having sex with a 14 year old girl.
    I would look at censorship of Facebook and the Internet generally. To me Internet pornography is a real problem throughout the nation and the world. I also would clean up television. Just recently an episode of the British program “Shameless” showed exactly the same thing. This is probably where young people are getting the idea?

    But we do need to behave more morally. That poor girl will now have that incident hanging over her possibly the rest of her life? What a shame that young people are being so hurt by such appalling behaviour and lack of morals.

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  20. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Quite right, David. It’s the victim’s fault, obviously. Just as it is the fault, somehow, of every woman who is raped because she “asked for it” in some way, or just because she is a woman.

    We actually do have all sorts of laws to protect people from themselves and from predators.

    Yeah right – cause its never the fault of the actual perpetrators is it….

    Its too early in the day to grant the ‘moron comment of the day award’, but I doubt one could better yours Luc.

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  21. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    [DPF: That's a disgustng smear one me, suggesting I blame rape victims. 20 demerits and it should be more. ]

    Feel free, its your blog!

    But I thought I kept my reply pretty mild, actually. The reference to rape victims was merely by way of illustration, as I’m sure you don’t hold that view. But it illustrates how easy it is to fall into the trap of blaming the victim, and this was once a view widely held of rape victims and many would argue it is one rape victims still face, to a lesser degree.

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  22. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    Fuck more clowns who think Laws are there to be obeyed. Just like the judge yesterday who castigated an offender for breaking orders that had been imposed by the courts.
    Don’t you ever stop to think that human nature and people being what they are these things will always be.
    Rues (laws) are there to be broken even if you do know them and in many many instances we don’t. more laws than the human mind can learn so 4 kids at less than 16 years of ageain’t got a show in hell of knowing them all.

    By the way, how old was the girl, 13-to under 16 means she could have been 15 years and 363 days. Why would anyone get excited about this?
    Policemen with nothing better to do.

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  23. ciaron (1,315 comments) says:

    V2, first quoted line: the mother of a 14 year old….

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  24. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    By the way, how old was the girl, 13-to under 16 means she could have been 15 years and 363 days. Why would anyone get excited about this?
    Policemen with nothing better to do.

    They got a 14 year old girl drunk, then had sex with her. Sounds like rape to me.

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  25. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    But I thought I kept my reply pretty mild, actually. The reference to rape victims was merely by way of illustration, as I’m sure you don’t hold that view. But it illustrates how easy it is to fall into the trap of blaming the victim, and this was once a view widely held of rape victims and many would argue it is one rape victims still face, to a lesser degree.

    And here I thought no one could make a dumber comment! I guess if anyone was going to say something dumber than your previous comment, it would be you..

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  26. wf (373 comments) says:

    It seem none of the youngsters involved had respect for social niceties. As many have said, that’s how it is these days. So why the fuss?
    Nothing would have happened if the girl hadn’t accepted their invitation to ‘sneak out’ on a Friday night.
    She should have got a sentence and as much exposure as the boys. It would be a powerful deterrent for others.

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  27. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (762 comments) says:

    The real question is, who is going to sign these boys first? The AFL or the NRL?

    FWIW, plying a 14 year old girl who is 2 years younger than you vodka, fucking her, filming it and displaying it sounds like sex offending to me. They should be charged and there are many more males that have gotten away with this crap for years who should have been charged too.
    At the very least these dirtbags could be done for child pornography

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  28. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Nothing would have happened if the girl hadn’t accepted their invitation to ‘sneak out’ on a Friday night.

    WTF!???! No dick head, nothing would have happened if the two boys didn’t whip their cocks out after they had got the girl pissed! Its not like the asked if it was OK before they gave her the vodka!

    She should have got a sentence and as much exposure as the boys. It would be a powerful deterrent for others.

    You have just said that the victim of a sexual assault should be punished as mush as the perpetrators. Thats just as fucken stupid as blaming Facebook for the assault. Deterrent? All you will deter is victims coming forward.

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  29. ciaron (1,315 comments) says:

    I would really like to know what she thought was going to happen when she decided to meet these boys in the park.

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  30. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I would really like to know what she thought was going to happen when she decided to meet these boys in the park.

    Are you saying that any girl who goes and meets a boy in a park should expect the same to occur?

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  31. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Bevan

    We seem to be on the same side in this, so we obviously read DPF’s comment differently. To remind you:

    I blame the kids involved – not the Internet or Facebook.

    So the two things I picked up on is that all three involved were kids. He didn’t differentiate between victim and perpetrators. I accept that I may have read that wrong.

    But then he just blindly defended social networking sites without any acknowledgment of the ever-present dangers to the disturbed, the naive or the just plain silly AND the standard strategies recommended to protect your kids.

    These social network sites, in fact, do need to develop protocols to protect some kids, just as casinos have done to protect adults from themselves. They make enough money out it, after all!

    And many posters above should be utterly ashamed of themselves for their comments, Mr Tinman first and foremost amongst them.

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  32. big bruv (13,279 comments) says:

    “The real question is, who is going to sign these boys first? The AFL or the NRL?”

    Ha ha…comment of the day.

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  33. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    We seem to be on the same side in this, so we obviously read DPF’s comment differently.

    Luc, quite frankly we are. I don’t see DPF as defending Facebook – I see him as doing more of a “rolleyes” at the typical reaction to blame anyone but the actual perpetrators.

    He didn’t differentiate between victim and perpetrators.

    Your complaining because he wasn’t exact enough in his description? In that case, wouldn’t a better way to go about this is to ask him for a clarification? Your first post was highly accusative of his position, if this was my blog I would have banned you.

    And I must apologise, I hadn’t noticed Tinman’s comment before awarding you the moron comment of the day award.

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  34. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    There is already a de facto age limit on FB, you have to be a certain age, can’t remember what it is , but you just get around it by putting in a bullshit DOB

    In this technological age where no image will ever disaappear, right now there is some girl flashing her tits and putting them on the net and these same tits are going to re-appear when she is running for the POTUS in 30 years time, – this sort of thing will happen lots , brilliant.

    And not to trivialise the rape, FB had nothing to do with it, the crime was the rape not the posting, anyway why didn’t mum call for mobile phones to be banned. Rape a terrible crime but technology had nothing to do with it.

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  35. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Luc

    I agree completely with what you are saying but I do believe you are being harsh on our host.

    The girl met the boys, now unless I missed something totally there is no mention of any technolgy being used to arrange the meeting. This could have all been arranged at school and as a parent of teenagers its fucking hard to know whats happening between kids at school.

    So like I said above, the crime is the rape, a horrible crime, but technology did nothing to cause it and could have done nothing to prevent it.

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  36. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Thank your for your words, Paul, but I disagree with this

    but technology did nothing to cause it and could have done nothing to prevent it.

    See above for my reasons.

    Bevan, I get skewered on here if I put a word wrong, so why shouldn’t DPF?

    And he complains about a legitimate comparison being an imaginary smear, but he (I wonder if the “H” should be upper case, these days?) permits all sorts of smears against others (me, Muslims, Blacks, Arabs, Asians, to name just a few) when he could put a stop to all this nonsense quite easily AND still be worth a visit.

    But then, I suppose his numbers would be lower if he kicked off the loonies.

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  37. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    ““The real question is, who is going to sign these boys first? The AFL or the NRL?”

    Ha ha…comment of the day.”

    Agreed, and yet no mention of a Dog?

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  38. ciaron (1,315 comments) says:

    @ Bevan: Not at all, But knowing what events she expected to happen could have significant ramifications on who gets which portion of blame. For instance, In short, was she a (initially at least) willing participant, or was she lured and groomed (and any other seedy description you care to think of)?

    I’d just like a few more details before condemning her as others have, which is not to say that it may not be unwarranted.

    O.k, I can’t think of a better way to explain that, even though it sounds like something Pete George might say :)

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  39. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Bevan, I get skewered on here if I put a word wrong, so why shouldn’t DPF?

    Nah, you get skewered for your whole post, not a single word … :-P

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  40. Scott (1,707 comments) says:

    Far be it from me to sound like a feminist, but a 14 your old girl meeting a boy in a park should not expect to be plied with liquor and then in a stupefied state had sexual intercourse with and in addition have the whole thing filmed and distributed. I am sure she didn’t expect that!

    As I have previously posted the whole thing shows an astonishingly sordid amount of immoral behaviour that is a disgrace to everybody.

    And technology did play its part. Facebook has become a way in which predators can groom their victims. From the mother’s point of view it is much harder to keep track of who her daughter was talking to them without such technology.

    Incidentally Facebook is also a major factor in divorce proceedings. Apparently flings with former flames have become much more common through meeting again on Facebook.

    And also an aside I find myself in agreement on this particular issue with Luc Hanson — wonders will never cease?!

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  41. wf (373 comments) says:

    ciaron: ‘ I would really like to know what she thought was going to happen when she decided to meet these boys in the park.’

    Clearly she didn’t think! My point was that if she had stayed at home, not ‘snuck out’ AT NIGHT she wouldn’t have been raped by 3 testosterone charged lads. Once she did the outcome was pretty much inevitable.
    This sort of situation is avoided if parents TALK to their kids and teach them about personal safety.

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