Thursday, 12 July 2012 - 8:50am
Tasmania Police is increasingly receiving complaints from members of the public regarding material posted on Facebook (and other social media sites).
Given this increase in complaints it is timely to clarify that the use of technology to undertake some conduct does not in itself create an offence.
That is, if the conduct complained of would not amount to an offence if it occurred off-line, then it is not an offence simply because in a particular instance it was undertaken with the aid of digital technology.
“For example, complaints have been received about comments posted on Facebook which are abusive or harassing. If this behavior occurred in a public place it would not be a reportable offence,” said Acting Inspector Luke Manhood.
“It is not the role of Tasmania Police to censor Internet content. In most instances members of the public should report the matter directly to Facebook using the links on their site,” said Acting Inspector Manhood.
Police should be contacted only where the content relates directly to a crime.
On many facebook views content will be accompanied by a 'Report abuse' link.
Members of the public can use these links to report content they find offensive, abusive or believe is in violation of Facebook's policies. Facebook also provides advice on how to deal with issues of abuse on its “Help Centre” which is accessible via individual Facebook pages.
Alternatively complaints can be made by going to http://www.facebook.com/report/.