A Facebook page that names and abuses so-called Christchurch “skanks” is “hurtful and degrading” says the father of a New Zealand teenager murdered by her violent boyfriend.
The “Skank Central Christchurch Name and Shame” page was set up four days ago and has so far received more than 3100 “likes”.
Mark Longley, the father of murdered Kiwi teen Emily Longley, said online abuse and using social media to hurt people was the sort of behaviour that led to domestic violence.
The page names both men and women and details their alleged sexual encounters and preferences and has attracted descriptive and offensive comments…
Martin Cocker, executive director of NetSafe, said Facebook pages created to name and shame people “unfortunately happen on a regular basis” at a regional level, such as school groups.
Longley, who is an ambassador and trustee for anti-violence campaign White Ribbon, said the Facebook page revealed the “nasty side of social media”……
“For those doing the bullying, these sorts of pages can be a very effective harassment mechanism.”
In June, Parliament’s justice and electoral select committee reported back on the Harmful Digital Communications Bill introduced last year and recommended amendments to toughen up the legislation.
The recommendations included a higher maximum penalty for the new offence of “causing harm by posting a digital communication” to be raised from three months in jail, or a $2000 fine, to two years in jail. This would bring the sentence in line with other harassment offences.
University of Canterbury law professor Ursula Cheer said individuals targeted online could pursue civil action on the grounds of defamation.
Full Story by Georgina Stylianou dated 6 October 2014. The Press