Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Funniest Home Videos' Distributes Child Abuse Imagery

According to this story it does :

Police say it is a crime for anyone to even watch a viral video of a man swinging a baby around the room.

Will they pursue and arrest Coca-Cola or American Express executives for putting an ad on such a clip on YouTube or another video sharing website? Fuck no.

(Police) comment comes after uproar over 60-year-old Chris Illingworth, a father of four from Maroochydore, was charged with posting the video on Liveleak after he stumbled across it on YouTube.

The video, which shows a man swinging a baby over his head by his arms, was broadcast on US television and has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people on the internet.

But, despite that, Mr Illingworth's home was raided after he posted the clip on Liveleak and he was charged with using the internet to access and publish child-abuse material.

In a statement, Queensland police said the term "child abuse material" even extended to clips where the child "appears" to be a victim of cruelty.

Queensland Police from the anti-pedophile squad, Task Force Argos, raided Illingworth's home on Sunday November 30 and subjected him to a thorough forensic examination of his home and office computers and a gruelling interview over several hours, complete with finger printing and mug shots.

Asked to respond to claims by Illingworth that he was targeted unnecessarily and unfairly labelled a child abuser, QLD Police said it was a crime "to participate in the exploitation and abuse of children by seeking to view, possess, make or distribute child abuse or child exploitation material".

It provided a definition of "child abuse material", which was any material that shows a person under the age of 18 who "is, or appears to be, a victim of torture, cruelty or physical abuse".

Any week you can tune into Funniest Home Videos, one of the most popular shows on Australian TV, adored by most children, and see videos where parents have purposely fed their children, say, chilli, to get a funny, screwed up face reaction, or let their two year ride his scooter down a steep drive knowing he will crash at the bottom. By the definition of Queensland Police, letting kids fall from swings or flip off lounge chairs, even if they enjoy it, and capturing the laughs on video, is child abuse. And perhaps it is. But it's all a very gray area, and police are now going after old people like Illingworth who didn't even film the incident of alleged child abuse, he merely passed on what he no doubt thought was a funny clip to another website.

Insanity. Have they run out of real pedophiles or perverts to go after?

Illingworth said it was unfair that he was being labelled a child abuser over a video he didn't make, when Steve Irwin was let off for dangling his baby near the open jaws of a crocodile.

Very good point.

"This thing started because they were looking for a pedophile, it didn't work, so [police decided] 'lets just take him for something else, make it look like we're doing our job'," Illingworth said.

Is it illegal now for a parent to 'aeroplane' their kid in a public park? I loved being swung around like that when I was a little kid. Awesome fun. Is it illegal to do that to your own child? Or is it just illegal to video it? What if a mum videos dad tossing their laughing, gurgling daughter higher and higher into the air as a Christmas video gift for grandma? Is grandma a criminal if she posts that clip to a website so her friends in another state or another country can share in the joy of her grand-daughter laughing her little head off?

Crazy, crazy shit.

The death of all fun.