The witches of Facebook – lynch mobs dribblejaws’ style

February 17, 2009

If Facebook is the new global village, it’s a village full of fucken’idiots, simpletons and dribblejaws (with the honourable exception of all my friends of course).

One of the people accused of lighting some of the devastating fires in Victoria has had his lack of education and sad love life splattered across the news pages in a way that doesn’t appear to advance the story at all.

Accused arsonist angry at girlfriend’s rejection.

Now this has turned into a vigilante exercise in witch burning. A number of people have started Facebook groups that have, despite the protests of the founders, become lynch mobs. This group, Make it know B****** S****** is the man who was arrested for arson, is the most prominent. Here’s what founder Yvette Langstaff has to say:

People need to put a name to the crime, not be left in dark. This site is for people to vent thier frustrations of our legal system, for people to grieve & leave messages of support to our hardworking firefighters and volunteers.

Please do not post photo’s of suspect on this site and we do not condone lynch mob’s..

“Vent their frustrations of our legal system”? What the hell is this? What has the legal system done? Nothing except follow due process. A suspect has been charged and is in custody. He will face a trial on arson and possession of child pornography (if there’s a link there I can’t see it). What is there to be frustrated at? What’s with the wandering apostrophes?

Read the rest of this entry »


Is Chee Soon Juan in prison?

June 6, 2008

More grim news from Singapore. Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan was sentenced to 12 days in jail on Monday 2 June. He was found guilty of contempt of court during his own defamation trial.

According to a report in the AFR [4 June p.53], it was a “theatrical performance”:

Chee said justice in Singapore had been “kicked”, “raped” and “quartered”. I can’t link to the story because it’s PPV.

Chee and his sister, Chee Siok Chin, are also facing longer jail terms and heavy fines for speaking in public without a permit. He is bankrupt, so very likely to go to jail.

In my view the Chees would be political detainees – or as Amnesty International might put it, they’d be “prisoners of conscience”, like Soon Juan was in 1999.

Read the rest of this entry »


A Qantas winner, but still overcooking the eggs

May 18, 2008

I wrote last week about the 2008 Qantas Media Awards, suggesting that the surpreme winner – APN’s Herald on Sunday – might take the biscuit for circulation and zippy tabloid headlines, but that it also took the editor’s egg-beater to some stories in the chase for circulation. Well, I’m happy to say, my point’s been proved this week. A front page story about the “lavish” lifestyle of recently released 19-year-old Bailey Kurariki. Read the rest of this entry »


Dominion Post charged over terror leaks story

April 10, 2008

The Dominion Post newspaper editor, Tim Pankhurst, and the publisher, Fairfax New Zeland, have been charged with contempt of court for publishing excerpts of police bugging intercepts collected during the botched raids on alleged terrorist training camps in mid October last year. The offending comments were lifted from a 150+ page affidavit sworn by New Zealand police as a justification for the raids.

In the end no one was charged with terror offences, though a few firearms charges are outstanding.

The story was covered in this morning’s Dom Post in a very bland way. The editor of the paper was somehow not available for a comment. Read the rest of this entry »