INDEPENDENT DEMANDS REFORMS TO SOCIAL NETWORKING
With the huge increase in the use of social networking,
from keeping up with friends and family to business promotions and marketing,
the one thing that has not kept up, is safety and security.
elderly woman can phone me about this issue, sitting in her home in fear, and
nothing can be done, we indeed must act.”
Our children are both subjected to harassment and
bullying, on top of the risk of grooming by some very sick people. But in recent
months, I have received calls from supporters of all ages, who are now becoming
targets of what are now being labelled “internet trolls”.
One page that has taken a love of all things Mark
Aldridge has shown my family and I the true face of all that is becoming wrong
with the lack of accountability that is now “Social Networking”.
Photos of my children, friends, parents and supporters
now come under attack, vile language, threats and posts that simply only go to
prove these people have serious mental illness, yet there appears to be nothing
we can do to either close the page down or address the behavioural issues being
Ignoring and blocking these people has not even had the
desired effect, in the most they have become more angry and as with many recent
complaints I have been privy to, the more they get away with the more empowered
they feel. In recent cases all over SA, these “trolls” start taking their hate
into the real world, by the use of blocked caller threats, pay phone SMS threats
and the like.
In recent weeks I have met with SAPOL on the issue, as
have many people I know about the very same page and the people that are
members, and nothing can be done, Face Book itself does not offers and services
in this respect, neither do the federal police.
The Australian cyber crimes task force are also
underfunded and resourced, leaving victims with no avenues of
justice, let alone the feeling of safety in their own homes.
The common issue for all involved is anonymity, who are
these people, now many profiles do they have, are they even in Australia, this
is where SAPOL can do very little, because the profile used to bully or harass,
is usually set up in a few minutes using an email address just as easily
The use of the latest IP tracking again can be side
stepped as these bullies learn the many ways of avoiding detection.
bullying, fraud, identity theft, child grooming, racial taunts, personal threats and
intimidation, should never become acceptable practice, so dare we sweep such
important issues into the too hard basket?
I would never indulge myself in the idea of stemming
free speech, but protecting hate speech is another issue altogether, being in
the public arena, and sticking my head up, indeed makes me a target, but it is
the children, the elderly and the vulnerable that indeed need to be
The simple application of identity proof when obtaining new email
addresses or indeed with the opening of a social networking profile appears the
only avenue to ensure some accountability, and would easily provide the
Australian police with the resources they need to address the concerns being
voiced all over the country.
Being accountable for ones actions in public surely
should carry over to ones actions on line, and that will never occur while a
person can become me in a matter of minutes so to speak, which has indeed been
one of many problems I have faced in recent weeks.
Federal legislation could easily be amended to help
overcome the power of anonymity with in social networking, as much as I am sure
some will always find a way to circumvent such safety ideals, in the most it
would be a big step forward to addressing this increasing social issue, bringing
with it some long overdue accountability.
If we as a nation don’t start somewhere, we will get
I can provide many examples, screen shots and
complaints, from people of all ages, which all go to clearly show change is necessary.
Mark M Aldridge
Independent Candidate for Wakefield
08 82847482 / 0403379500