A Melbourne mother, mistakenly believing that a guy was photographing her kids in a shopping centre, snapped a photo of him as he was “taking off” (also known as simply leaving a Target store).
On 6 May, she posted the photo to Facebook with her description of the encounter with the “creep”, saying that he’d been reported to management and police and that he’d be charged if he turned out to be a registered sex offender.
After hundreds of shares, the news of his public shaming finally reached the so-called “creep”, who turns out to have been publicly maligned over innocent behavior.
By the time the post was shared 20,000 times, he had received death threats and was considering his legal options, he told Daily Mail Australia under condition of anonymity.
The man eventually contacted police to explain he was just taking a selfie – in fact, his first ever – as he stood in front of a Darth Vader cut-out at the Westfield Knox shopping centre at Wantirna South, in Melbourne, Australia.
He said he thought it would be a good “daggy” dad joke to send to his three children, who love the Star Wars movies:
I'm a father of three kids and a normal human being... I've never taken a selfie before.
I was in two minds whether to take the selfie, but I thought it'll be a good daggy dad joke.
In real terms, it was embarrassing enough to be standing in front of Darth Vader, to be honest.
(“Daggy” being Australian for the uncool and unfashionable.)
Now, all three children and their dad have been “devastated” by the ordeal, the man said.
His friends, family and colleagues all over Australia have seen the post, he said.
Besides receiving death threats, his good name – or, at least, his image and his reputation – have been dragged through the mud:
We're a very strong, community-minded family and we've never had any issue with any form of impropriety and all of a sudden my name is smeared.
The man said he was in Target looking for a birthday present for his partner when he saw the Star Wars display:
As I was walking out of Target I saw a very large Darth Vader cut out for taking photographs. It said 'May the 4th be with you', and I've got three children and they love all that Comic-Con, Supernova, science fiction stuff.
So he took a quick selfie. Then, he saw a bunch of kids sitting down nearby without any parents present.
He reassured the kids that he’d be done in a jiffy:
I said 'I'll only be a second, I’m taking a selfie to send to my kids.'
The Facebook post has since been taken down, but the Daily Mail Australia posted a capture.
It’s pretty clear how the misunderstanding happened: the mother, who wasn’t there when the selfies were snapped, got the story second-hand from the kids.
From her perspective, as she said in the Facebook post, her kids were approached by a stranger in Target while sitting and watching “Frozen” on a screen in the children’s clothing section.
From her post:
He said 'hey kids' they looked up and he took a photo, then he said I'm sending this to a 16 yr old.
She took a photo of the man as he was leaving the store, removed her children from the area and informed security:
Centre management were straight onto and so are the police, hopefully he is caught.Police said if he is a registered sex offender he will be charged, this happened at Knox, be safe with your kids
The man got a panicked call the next day from his partner while he was in a business meeting.
She told him she’d been contacted by somebody who’d recognized him from the photo, he said, leaving him “flabbergasted” at the idea that his photo was on Facebook, publicly posted, along with the allegation that he’d approached children and taken their photos.
He immediately drove to the local police station to identify himself and clear things up. There, police interviewed him at length and inspected his phone.
Of course, by the time he had proved his innocence and the post had been retracted, the damage had already been done:
The retraction post has only been viewed one-fiftieth of the times the original post was viewed.
At Naked Security, we regularly report on social media posts that instigate vigilantism.
In September, there was the case of a convicted child rapist who sued both Facebook and a Facebook page administrator, claiming that the admin posted his exact address to a paedophile-monitoring page.
In November, another story of a cyber mob taking justice into its own hands was that of Anonymous e-hijacking Twitter accounts and websites of the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the wake of threats the group had made against Ferguson protesters.
Those are just a few instances of mob justice. They’re legion.
The targets are often hard, or impossible, to sympathize with: paedophiles, or groups that foment violent racism and hatred.
But the Melbourne man is a clear example of why we should restrain ourselves from prejudging via social media, or of fomenting vigilantism, and should instead trust the law to investigate and mete out justice, as the local police requested in Melbourne regarding this case.
Detective Acting Inspector Allan Price from the Knox Police Service Area told the Daily Mail Australia that the incident should serve as a reminder about the dangers of social media and of spreading inaccurate and alarming information:
We would encourage anyone in a similar situation to contact police and report the matter as opposed to turning to social media.
Members of the public must not believe everything they read on personal social media pages and refer to reliable sources for their information.
Sure, that mother was just protecting her kids. She was right to report the man to security if she was concerned.
But taking her suspicions beyond reporting it to authorities, and turning up the flame on the Facebook mob with her allegations, had serious repercussions for this man and his family.
A friend of the man said his family appreciated that the original post had been taken down, but called on the woman to say sorry.
No matter what happens in the future, this man has been impacted by her actions. I bet the story of his innocence does not reach the numbers that her original post met. Her sharing a public apology would go some way to ease the hurt that a whole ... number of people are feeling as a result of this incident.
There [have] been huge ramifications for a family and a man's reputation as a result of her post.
Let’s hope that she has learned a valuable lesson about responsible use of social media, and that she musters up the courage to say sorry.
Image of man’s selfie and Facebook post courtesy of Daily Mail Australia.
153 comments on “‘Creep’ shamed on Facebook was actually man taking selfie with Darth Vader”
Sounds like a defamation lawsuit is needed here.
absolutely agree. people are so out of control with their internet “shaming” of others for a perceived slight…maybe if some of them start getting sued, people will think twice before publicly humiliating someone that doesn’t deserve it.
WTF is wrong with people those days… I thought we left witch-burning and mob justice behind in the dark ages…
Living under a rock? We never did, witch-hunting is real and more common than ever, with people from all over the world joining together to ruin some innocent people’s lives.
My favorite case was the hunt for Boston Bombers. Boys from reddit looked through the photos and found someone who looked like a kid that had gone missing – his poor mother’s facebook wall was flooded with profanities. Turned out the kid had drowned himself in a river.
Nah, all of the witchhunting goes on on reddit now.
He is an internet person. He would know what his kind does.
That would imply human beings have actually gotten better. We haven’t, our methods just changed a bit.
It’s the new Dark Ages, didn’t you know?
Look, I’m a mom, and like other moms I worry about my kids. But I’ve met many a mom through friends, mommy groups, neighbors, etc…that are near obsessed with child abduction/rape. We should all be concerned for our kids and look out for them, but some people spend every moment of the day believing someone has pinpointed their exact child for kidnap/rape. WTH? Your kids has a far, far, far bigger chance of being in a car wreck, choking, or getting into a playground fight than being abducted. Be careful, but don’t be so worried that you miss out on other stuff. Also, don’t ‘shame’ people you don’t know on the internet. That’s childish, and in this case you end up looking like a giant a******hle.
For what it’s worth the actual statistics of “stranger danger” show that it’s hardly worth bothering with.
By and large, the _REAL_ people who do harm to children (or adults for that matter) are known to them and normally considered family members or part of the family circle (“evil stepmothers”). Incidents of harm from strangers (“big bad wolf”) are rare, which is why they get media coverage
I don’t even understand what the ‘slight’ was? So he was taking pictures of some random family, so what?
100% agree. This woman needs to feel the heat financially.
Burn the witch
there is no need to call her a witch, she simply misunderstood what the man was doing. he just took a photo of himself, no more. adn who the h*ll says ” burn the witch ” anymore i thought that was only in the medieval times.
No no… if she’d simply misunderstood, she would have left it at contacting management and the police, and letting them sort it out. She instead took to shame the man on social media. As the article mentions, her post was shared over 20,000 times and friends, coworkers, and family all saw. His kids’ friends and their parents saw it. And do you think those same people who shared the woman’s post are likely to share the followup, by which they technically admit to forming a digital lynch mob?
At the very least, she should be identified and maligned online like he was–not for revenge, but so that people like her see that there are consequences to their actions, and hopefully think twice before doing this sort of thing in the future.
Why is this woman’s name blurred out? Did she make any attempt to hide the identity of the man she slandered?
LETS COUNTER WITCH HUNTING WITH WITCH HUNTING THAT WILL SURELY SOLVE THE PROBLEM
She actually did something bad, unlike the man who took the photo with Darth vader.
but we want to see their faces! GIVE THE PEOLE WHAT THEY WANT! MINE MINE MINE!
At least this one happens after we heard both sides.
Actually if people were forced to put their name to it and every story ran with your name under the headline, people might be a little more thoughtful of potential truths and consequences. Everybody has the right to face their attacker, OP clearly wanted this in the public eyes, she should be too.
It is not witch hunting when one has actually done something wrong. She did commit slander, and must get consequences like any other adult.
Witch hunting is punishing a random person for a crime that he probably didn’t commit.
It is actually libel, not slander.
When put into print is libel ,which is much more serious charge.
If they would display the name they would be going against the very thing this article goes against; public shaming on social media and news.
Actually, publicly shaming the public shamers is exactly the best thing to do. That’s how water finds it’s level. That’s the promise of social media (and a free press) – that we can use public discourse, as well as shaming and praising rather than the threat of physical coercion, in order to solve our problems.
Sort of. I do think there should be consequences for her actions, though a mob meting it out isn’t a good solution. However, keep in mind the selfie-taking person did nothing wrong, whereas the person who slandered him on social media arguably did do something wrong.
Well she did post it on a social media with her name and picture, to begin with..
Sounds like the mom should be investigated for leaving the kids alone
Not always, In the UK there used to be a kids section in IKEA where they could watch films and play in a ball pit etc. so some places do have those areas
But that was/is monitored, not the same as leaving your kids unattended.
I also think she should be investigated for leaving her kids alone, something I would never have done. Yes, IKEA has a secure place where children may be left, the parent must sign them in and then sign them back out. Chuck E Cheese has a hand stamp put on both the parent and the child. That is great for them, unfortunately, Target does not have those things and this woman carelessly left her children alone to do her shopping. Her Mother of the Year ballot was not lost in the mail.
The utter ego of this women is astounding. Just another narcissitic mother with a sick obsession of children that everything pertains to kids.
Why is no one talking about how she LEFT HER KIDS UNSUPERVISED? She’s lucky they didn’t get kidnapped.
This! People only learn when their wallet is affected
There is no need for lawsuit from text it is clear that he wants an apology, if she makes it in required time and order there is no need for court. Courts are only involved if there is dispute. Only in murica you take every misunderstanding to court and try to get rich 🙂
This is appalling. I would sue her for false accusations!!!!
I’m surprised he doesn’t have a dozen ambulance chasers knocking on his door.
This one is so blatant that it’d be a slamdunk in court.
Wow, it seems as if the mom is manipulating the facts a bit… Or the kids misinterpreted the dad’s interaction with them. Either way, I wish they would give us the name of the woman, it is only fair after what happened to this poor man!
Did you miss the whole point of this article? Stop looking to shame people on the internet.
I beg to differ as the internet has heard both sides of the story now.
After the woman was destroyed like the poor father.
and what would that accomplish? It would just be the same thing all over again, a horde of angry people making someone’s life miserable over something that isn’t any of their business. I agree that it would teach her a lesson, maybe even be fair, but it wouldn’t be the right thing to do, and it wouldn’t make anything better, only encourage more of this sort of dog-piling in the future.
That would go against the entire point of this article. We need to stop social media vigilantism and if her information was released she’d get a buch of death threats and hate mail like man she hurt and it would just continue the cycle of cyber bullies masked as concerned citizens.
This article can’t tell me what to do. This article’s not my real Dad.
But it is, Tommy…it is your real dad!
If someone is ready to take a picture / slander another’s name, they better be ready to stake their own name on such. “Shaming” will never stop if there are no consequences and people are free to do whatever they want. The first case should never happen, the second is a must.
No, thry should not give her name… This whole thing is about how mob mentality is bad, giving her name would only promote it.
It’s a classic case of people with a ridiculous amount of ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ being stupid online and disseminating said stupidity with half-baked presumptuous theories (probably stemmed from prejudice) to scores of unquestioning, mindless, vindictive, self appointed vigilante wannabes who’d like nothing more than to be ‘doing the right thing’ with absolutely no accountability.
Stuff like this makes me sick to my stomach! I hope he sues her and wins!
Some people really don’t have anything better to do. Same for people who call the police when they see an ethnic looking person simply walking alone down the street. Too many folks can die needlessly because of some idiot’s failure to properly assess danger.
Oh, good, I figured this had something to do with racism.
Definitely needs to sue and clear his good name. Maybe a few other busybodies will learn from it.
Whoa, its a man, he must be a pedophile, right? I mean statistics say most pedophiles are more commonly women and not men. But all guys must be child raping perverts.
So wrong. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. I trust the mothers intuition over some dodgey half-assed police investigation. This guy is probably still a pedophile, but smart enough to not get caught (this time). I hope this is really just a ruse by the police, so now they can just keep an eye on him and wait for him to slip up, I’m certain they’d find some real creepy things to back up the mothers intuition, they should keep looking until they find something.
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”
Whatever you’re smoking, I’d ask for your money back.
troll much? lol
I am hoping your vile reply is supposed to be a wind up? It’s this kind of attitude that destroys lives.
Shouldn’t this be grounds for a Defamation of Character suit? If so, he should sue so he can clear his name, and maybe if that happens, it’ll actually send a message to stop pulling this bull.
I’m sure he didn’t because he doesn’t want to cause anymore trouble than the whole situation already has. Suing isn’t the answer for everything and it’s time-consuming and emotionally draining; probably best to leave it behind, look forward, and have good faith that others will learn from this.
Others won’t learn if there’s no accountability.
This woman committed a fraudulent claim upon this man and had she stabbed him, would have been arrested and charged with assault. Because she caused him a different kind of damage, one that is much harder to heal from why should she just walk away without penalty. I agree suing may not be the answer but she definitely needs to be charged with something and made to consider her actions. Also her name would not have been withheld had she stabbed him either. If she is not charged then the moral of this story will be: If you want to hurt someone, defame them and you will get away with it.
I will add.. Because of her actions, he is receiving death threats. If one of those idiots sees him, and didn’t see the story of the actual truth, then assaults him or kills him, she is responsible.. Period!
She has every responsibility to set the record straight. And she should face charges of defamation. I don’t believe in suing, but this one, he should. It will make the news when she is found guilty. It will make the news that he was innocent, and that such actions as her’s are not acceptable.
Social media has its merits, but it is so misused and abused and so many people get hurt, I’ve totally backed off from it. And I NEVER share stories unless they are funny or particularly interesting or well-researched. I just don’t. We still have laws and we should use them.
I want her name posted so I can harass her, this is atrocious!
She needs to be doxxed too. Let the whole world know her address and etc. so she can share what she caused. Otherwise, he needs to sue her ass off. I know in the UK they take libel/slander very seriously, not sure about Aus.
doxxing ? what is wrong with you ? remember she also has kids and a family, yes she was wrong but do the same thing to her does not make it right.
I belong to an online breastfeeding mothers support page. There are a lot of boob pictures, both of the look at my sweet baby having a snack variety and the omg what’s wrong with my nipple type. Just last week there was a blow up claiming that a particular woman was a creep who joined a bunch of breastfeeding pages to steel photos for nefarious purposes. After her name was dragged through the mud it was eventually uncovered that she was a blind women using a talk to text program to use social media and didn’t even realize that she was joining every page Facebook recommended.
Yes the woman who put the allegations should have her name made public, she is the menace to society not the selfie chap, there is far too much of this kind of wrongful blaming, I had a friend who was taking photo’s of aircraft which is quite popular in the UK he was accused of taking pictures of children by what he described as a woman mountain. It would have been easy for the police to just look at images on his camera but no he and a colleague were thrown in a holding cell overnight, had their hotel rooms trashed by the police and were questioned at great length. It was found that they were telling the truth, the creature that reported them should have been done for wasting police time and named publicly but no as far as she was concerned she was within her rights!
The woman should be investigated for leaving her 3 kids alone.
Protecting her children? Maybe she shouldn’t have left them alone in the store!
Heres a thought,Target is NOT a daycare, you don’t just drop your kids off in a department.
Children social services should be called. She’s worried about a photo yet she left them in the store alone? The wrong person was trashed here….
So… this woman left her kids alone in a Target?
Why are you protecting her name? Why should she be afforded the same protections she took away from him? She should be sued. She defamed his character and this is exactly why laws like that are on the books.
>Those are just a few instances of mob justice. They’re legion.
I see what you did there.
Everyone grab your pitch forks and find the mom!
There are services that will scrub this from the ‘net. The woman who originally posted it should have to pay the fee
I have a lot of respect for the author because she didn’t reveal the names. If she revealed the names, she probably could have gotten more view. But she didn’t. Bravo. Journalism isn’t dead.
I appreciate your kudos on that front. We wouldn’t have revealed the names even if they had been made available, but they actually weren’t. But thanks for expressing appreciation for all of the media outlets, and law enforcement spokespeople, who chose not to reveal anybody’s name. The important lesson to come out of this incident, after all, is how ill-advised it is to incite enraged mobs by feeding them information, be it in the form of photos, names, addresses or other personally identifiable information.
Internet may not get to vent on this woman but negative psyche against such protectionism is definitely intensifying.
God save the person whose name gets accidentally revealed (and such accident will happen, eventually, because most of us are humans). Knowing how we humans are, it is better that vigilante justice comes as early as possible – to keep it relatively trivial.
I sincerely hope the man in question has legal options and brings suit.
I think we can all be glad he didn’t make a dongle joke to a group of adults at a tech conference!!
Maybe if she was with her kids instead of having them sat in front of a store display TV while she does her shopping, she would’ve known what was really happening and been there to ask the guy what he was doing.
How about we put the mother on blast and ruin her life instead?
Why did she leave her kids alone and unsupervised in the store?
“She was right to report the man to security if she was concerned.”
Lol, yea. I can just imagine how that would go.
“Security! Security! Please come parent my kids for me!!”
So let me get this straight. This woman allowed her kids to be unattended in public. And she was shocked that someone interacted with them? Then went and made up a story, 99% of which was false? There is no defending this kind of ignorance. Hope he gets a nice civil suit out of this.
This is what happens when you have irrational child-worship. The fix is for the next 20 years if anyone uses “children” for any rationale tell them you oppose whatever they want.
I hope his name is cleared and the woman makes a big public apology on facebook. I also hope the dad in the story does not approach unsupervised children to talk to them.
“… I also hope the dad in the story does not approach unsupervised children to talk to them.”
No lesson learnt? For your reference, from the original article:
“…The retraction post has only been viewed one-fiftieth of the times the original post was viewed…”
At the least, she should pay for a full page add explaining his innocence.
Glad you folks will shame this guy around the news. How about we get the ladies name and profile, so we can shame and torment her for the next month? That seems fair.
The Force wasn’t with HIM.
The real question, why the hell was the mother leaving her kids unattended?
“protecting” children from photo
viva la lend of death penalty for thoughtcrime
The dad was too kind to the woman who took his picture. If that had happened to me, I’d have sued her for all she was worth for defamation and libel.
If this had been in the United States, this lady would already have a libel lawsuit against her.
Not really, in the UK, far more people go to court over slander,
Maybe this mom should be investigated by child services for leaving her children completely alone in a public place. Whether he did or didn’t do anything wouldn’t even be in question if she’d been a responsible parent.
Get an apology? Are you serious? She probably thinks she’s still a victim.
do gooders never do any good. Hope the guy does something to drag her through it a bit, i mean, having ur name ruined taking a selfi . . . against a selfi designed board . . .not sure. Womans twitter please? release the hounds
An attorney friend of mine had a similar situation several years ago (before the advent of social media, thankfully). A client who is an elementary school teacher was at an event featuring a display of student artistry. She was admiring one child’s painting and asked if she could take a photo of the child with her work. The girl gladly posed for the photo. Several days later an ‘expert’ was giving a presentation on child safety at the young artist’s school and said that people photographing your children might be cause for concern. Upon hearing this, the parent of the child called police claiming that my friend’s client is a pedophile. That was a traumatic (and expensive) experience for the accused. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be with the kind if Internet-based smear campaign waged by the accuser in this case. It’s truly frightening.
She has apologized. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/outer-east/woman-who-posted-facebook-photo-of-innocent-man-has-tearfully-apologised/story-fnrwkhlp-1227350397082
She has also, and this is horrifically ironic but dismayingly predictable, received death threats over this incident.
How about this: let’s stop sending death threats.
Let’s all congratulate her on having learned a lesson and having apologized, and then please, let’s ask our friends and family to do the same. sans death threats.
An apology won’t give back this man what he loss.
Neither will death threats, public shaming or doxxing of the mother. It’s just tough, he can’t win from here. Sometimes people make mistakes and bad things happen.
He received death threats, too. So everyone receives death threats. The real point to take away is that the Internet will send empty threats to anyone for any reason. But I’m sure we already knew that…
I’m not at all surprised. Reminds me of a few years back when a some neds vandalized a ladies house because it said in the phone book that she was a paediatritian.
This all starts with the mother making the mistake of leaving her children unsupervised.
If your kids are somewhere they can be approached like she thought occurred, she should have been present and watching them!! Based on the events, her kids can’t be trusted to relay what really happens and should not be left alone.
If the lady had been actually watching her kids instead of leaving them like she did, none of this would have happened.
“She was right to report the man to security if she was concerned.”
No, no she wasn’t. Not in a public space. She had every right to ask “Hey, what are you doing?”
“Taking a selfie with Darth Vader.”
Heaven forbid we actually have human to human communication in this day and age.
It did strike me that she could have saved a lot of misery by asking him what he was up to, but after imagining what might have happened if he’d actually been a dangerous person—whether that be a paedophile or some other type of dangerous person—I concluded that it was better for her to report him to security rather than to confront him herself. I respect what the law stressed in this case, and it’s something they always do stress: bring it to them rather than take it upon yourself.
1. She left her kids unattended. Her first mistake.
2. She panicked when the kids told her about him approaching. A paedophile! Her mind probably ‘clicked’, thanks to the environment our media lobbies have so painstakingly built. I won’t count this one as her mistake.
3. She informed the law enforcement without thinking it through (it was just her kids words, kids never distort anything, do they?). Her second mistake, not a big one though.
4. She made that notorious post on Facebook. Seriously, what was she thinking while doing that? This one merits examining her mental fitness as a mother. Child services?
He should sue her for the damages, and in his suit force her to be banned from Facebook or any other social media by a judge for life. That would teach her.
I hope he sues her ass. She’s totally defamed his character.
I would take her for everything …money
If the mom hadn’t left her children alone in a store this never would have happened.
It’s a shame some people only think about themselves.
Why were the kids alone in the store without adult supervision?
Is nobody going to comment that this lady left her children un-attended in a public store with no adult supervision.
Yes, Lots of people have commented that this lady left her children unattended. Did you bother to read any of the other comments?
Protecting from what? Does she think photos take the souls away? What an awful world to leave in.
Actually, taking pictures of you without your permission *is* IMO unacceptable. It doesn’t take away your soul, it takes away some of your privacy, and never gives it back. Actually, if you made a case that those two things could be considered equivalent, I’d listen. I’m sure I’d have a load of theological uncertainties on the issue, and I suspect that I wouldn’t agree, but I’d definitely hear you out and I wouldn’t laugh. Privacy is more than skin deep, eh?
But this wasn’t taking photos of anyone else, and I’m struggling to see how you could form the opinion that it was.
(Anyway, if you genuinely thought the bloke was up to no good, e.g. pretending to take selfies but actually secretly using the camera on the other side of the phone…you’d report him to security and then stay well out of it, surely, not draw attention to yourself with wild accusations?)
What privacy do you have when you’re out shopping? If you want privacy under such a circumstance, wear a disguise, or shop only online, or send a sacrificial face-shower to do your dirty work.
What’s the difference whether just the people in the store see those children at just that moment, or the whole world sees them, either immediately or 50 yrs. later? What makes the people in the store at that moment better than anyone, that they should get to see those particular children, & nobody else in the world see them?
Do you think that it is illegal for someone to take a photo of you in a public place?
I am not a lawyer, but as far as I know, the answer is, “It depends.” That’s not the same as me preferring that you don’t take pictures of me without asking, so if you do, I will ask you to delete them.
The law doesn’t require you to be polite; it doesn’t say you can’t push in front of me in the supermarket queue; and it doesn’t say (in every case, anyway) that you have to delete a photo that you took without asking in which I appear conspicuously. But a lot of what I am told is called “civil society” is greatly improved if you are polite, fair, and respectful.
For my thoughts on public photography, many of the laws around which seem to date from the days wnen photography was slow, obvious and costly, see here:
There, I argued as follows: “It’s good to see the Australian public service taking the fight to Google over its widespread collection and use of otherwise-public data, but I would prefer to see our Federal parliament taking on the broader privacy issues opened up by Street View. Most important of these is whether or not we ought to curtail the general right to take and to redistribute public photographs, given the ease with which the information in published pictures can these days be mined and milked.”
With or without legislative changes (such as who owns the copyright in a photograph – the snapper or the subject?), my opinion is that “it’s time for the majority of the camera-wielding, Facebook-loving public to learn to think of the privacy wishes of the minority when they upload their snaps to the web.”
He did ask the kids and explain his situation to them, according to both accounts given. Not his fault if the kids were left unattended and misreported the event to the mom, or if the mom made mountain out of molehill on her own.
There is a reason this woman issued a (largely unread) public apology.
You mention that the retraction post has only been seen 1/50th as much as the initial accusatory post, yet you don’t include the retraction in the article. You’re part of the problem, Lisa.
Her name wasn’t published. Nor was the original post, obviously, since it was deleted before I wrote this up. Finding her retraction post is therefore rather difficult.
She had no problem spreading the picture of the man so why should we respect her privacy? Name and shame
Because it’s exactly that attitude that’s the problem. She thought she was performing a public service and she got it very badly wrong. The echo chamber of people who spread her post also got it very badly wrong.
On both sides the flames are fanned by people who think they’re in full possession of the facts. On both sides people are ready to act violently from an assumed position of absolute certainty.
Why was the children’s clothing department so close to the EXIT!
Aka – ‘mum leaves kids alone in a shopping centre, panic when adult male (because *obviously* all adult men are evil rapists*) dares to come near her children, where he will no doubt make child porn using their faces.
How about – grow up? This dude was taking a picture for his own children. If you’re so sodding frightened for your kids, keep them with you instead of dumping this off in front of a screen while you shop un-pestered.
Poor guy 🙁 Hope this woman feels terrible and sends a personal apology.
The woman who took the photo has come out saying she’s really sorry and was crying on the radio this morning.
There are not many people with a lot of sympathy for her here in Melbourne. There’s a lot of backlash.
She’s also been claiming her Facebook settings were partly to blame because she reckons she only wanted her friends to see the original post.
When “see something say something” goes off the rails!
I don’t forward that sort of thing either. We need to mind our own business much of the time and just let some dude take a selfie with Darth Vader.
Sounds like a pretty straight forward case of defamation…
Also, why was she not close enough to her children to say to this guy, “hey, what are you doing?”
Also, also, I am not sure, but I do not think that you have any reasonable expectation not to be photographed in a public place. Hence the “if he is a sex offender” rubbish – i.e. if he is not prevented from doing so by some previous offence, then even were he actually taking photos of her kids then that would not have been against the law. (Which is why we should stay with our kids right?)
We just need some way to tackle this internet shaming. Many people have been falsely shamed. Some people may never be able to get a job if search on search engine by their name displays false information. People have even committed suicides because of public shaming. It’s hard if not impossible to get thing straight to the public. I thought about the opinions and came up with the only quick, simple, virtually free solution. People who post this kind of overreacting/possible false information should be publicly shamed at least the same amount.
Excuse me….SHE left three kids unattended in a store and was no where around them? I think this mother bears a bit of investigating by Child Protective Services. She owes this gentleman a big fat front page apology and plaster her picture all over it so everyone can know what a crappy parent looks like.
is there not a law for that, here in my country there is a law that we can’t post pictures of others without there consent (internet and or other forums) ! its part of the “privacy law” here. that woman would be fined here and even get jail time. this law here is so big that “none lawofficers” can’t even post a known criminal on set forums !! and after all growup don’t shame someone.
I bet he has a son named Luke.
WHY were her children left alone (even for a second) in a mall? JS
Because most people are now “STUPID”
Disgraceful! If she was such a concerned and caring mother why did she allow those children to be there without adult supervision.She should be charged with wasting police time and be forced to pay damages to this poor man.Mind you,no amount of money is going to clear his name or give him his peace of mind back,is it?!
He went to the police… …the Police interview him at length and inspected his phone and after the man proved his innocence…
The guy was guilty until he proved himself innocent… he was treated as a criminal, he was interrogated, he had to hand his phone to the police for them to explore…
What the hell? He had to prove his innocence?
Simply simply because a hysterical person thought they can justify anything if they can wrap their actions in a meaningful cause… I was just protecting the CHILDREN! Ergo everything I do is righteous and just.
The three words that almost always precede an ignorant persons justifications, “I was just”.
This woman needs to be sued (successfully) and the outcome needs to be as public as possible. Perhaps that will provide a bit of a hint to others.
Unfortunately for this woman the google cache page still exists from her original post, including her name before she changed the profile – Karma tends to have a way of sticking it to you one way or another
This woman is quite a twat, honestly. I mean, rather than confront the man, or leave the issue to the authorities, she rallies up a lynch mob online. She wouldn’t have HAD to do any o that if she’d been a responsible parent and kept an eye on her kids. I definitely hope he takes her to the cleaners for ruining his reputation.
Name and shaming her in return, as satisfying as it might sound to some, wouldn’t do boo except sink to her level. I mean she’s getting death threats as it is, I don’t see why we should interfere in their business anymore than we already have.
I absolutely hate this overly PC, high strung mob mentality that seems to be becoming popular on here. You make one mistake or step an inch out of line in their eyes and you’re never forgiven. I remember when the worst I would see is people trolling and mane calling to get a rise, or posting shock images and screamers. It’s like they forget that the other person is a human, or that they’ve made mistakes in the past.
Perhaps if the mother is so worried about strangers approaching her children in an inappropriate manner, she shouldn’t leave them alone unsupervised in any capacity, even in the children’s clothing section watching a children’s movie…Responsible Parenting 101.
I think she should be forced to post on Facebook or TV for everyone to see her heart felt apology. The issue here is people don’t actually think for themselves. They watch too much TV and the media leans too much on the negative and less on the positive. So it gives the perception that the world is full of bad things when in actuality the world is mostly positive. There was a recent study done when asking people what they thought about a certain subject and how often they think that particular thing happens. It was quite astounding. For example, rape, the study asked 100 women how often they thought a woman was raped in the United States. They majority answered like 65% when actually its about .99%. The reason for that is most people don’t want to research things for themselves so instead they listen to other people who may or may not know anything of what they are talking about because that person also heard it from someone else. Come on people you all know how that grapevine works. Do your research before coming to a conclusion. “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance” -Albert Einstein.
The last line sums it up.
In her apology she said she thought the post was private and “It was never done with the intention of splashing it all over these social media pages.” Really? Even if it had been posted privately it could have been shared by her “friends” publicly. She was/is clueless how social media works.
Taking a selfie is not being creep, this woman has to be sued and charged for the all of the damage that she has done to this man. Gender does not matter, what only matters the most is action and saying ‘Sorry’ is not going to bring back everything he has lost.