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Dec 10, 2008

Thought police raid.

Sometimes advocates of free speech have a great deal of difficulty in justifying their arguments in the face of some of the idiocy that parades itself around the net today. I have no time for offences against children, be they sexual, physically of mentally abusive or whatever. The creators of child abusive videos of any kind should be hunted down and brought to justice for their actions.

Few if any libertarians would have any problem with these sentiments, as we tend to all agree with the concept of reasonable laws to protect children. I have no problem with people watching, downloading, or making pornography in the adult world, that’s their own affair, and it generally falls into the victimless activity between consenting adults category. I don’t seek it out but am not worried if others do.

Child pornography is on the other hand an outrage, as the making of it cannot be done without resort to child sexual abuse. There may be freedom of speech issues involved in possession of this material, however I tend to think that those who possess it are probably the sort of sick bastard who are probably inclined to carry out the sort of actions they want to view, and as such somebody else can argue their case if so inclined.

The following matter, which was reported in the Sunshine Coast Daily, is going to extremes.

For some time a video on YouTube has been doing the rounds of a man swinging a child by the arms. It has apparently been popular. On finding it today, I was appalled by it, not that it is violent but just dangerous and downright stupid. After watching it I am inclined to agree with some of the skeptics who hold the view that it is a fake, as some of the moves in it would cause serious harm but don’t appear to have done so.

My greatest problem with it is the danger that some idiot may try to emulate it and cause crippling injuries. This is the article.

Maroochydore resident Chris Illingworth had his home and business raided by pedophile busting police because he re published on the internet a viral video of a man recklessly swinging a baby.

The father of four has been charged with accessing, downloading and uploading child abuse material with the intent to distribute and is scheduled to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on December 18.

The controversial video of a man swinging a baby by its arms – which Mr. Illingworth re published on the video sharing website Liveleak – has been published widely on the internet and shown on TV news shows.

Mr. Illingworth, 60, said he had uploaded hundreds of videos to Liveleak, a site similar to YouTube, over two years.

In a posted message on the site, he said officers from Task Force Argos – which specializes in combating child pornography and child groomers – treated him like a "common criminal" when they raided his home on November 30.

"I was visited at my home, with neighbours watching, by the gun wielding Task Force Argos," he said.

"My computers were forensically inspected – both at home and in my office."

Mr. Illingworth said he wanted to warn other uploaders and moderators to be careful of what they posted and approved when it came to children. ....

I have serious arguments with this as the video was openly available on YouTube and therefore in the public domain, and the accused guy did nothing according to the article other than download it and upload it onto Liveleak. Unless there is more to the story than we are led to believe, then it was probably a simple lack of understanding that the footage could be interpreted as child abuse. It would be difficult to see this person as having any criminal intent in his actions.

YouTube have removed the video, Liveleak also appear to have done so as the one I found posted from them would not download, and I found other sites where it wes now unavailable. I found it on a site which I will not name as I find it disturbing.


  1. we should all be disturbed at the zeal of Task Force Argos, who appear to be trying to justify their existance. I wonder how many actual criminals they catch? They need to bring innocents into court to justify their budget, paid for by taxes. I assume they are trying to compliment the new internet filtering laws pushed for in Oz. btw the baby swinging video is largely viewed as a fake by many techie types. It's just unreal how far the government will go to turn Australia into a nanny state. I remember that the premier of QLD refused to allow charges to be pressed against Irwin for holding his baby near the croc's mouth, and that was real, just like the countless parents who send in their tapes to funny home videos of kids being hurt and they all laugh. sad

  2. I have a fair regard for the role of Task Force Argus as far as catching child abusers, although I have some concerns especially in these circumstances. Some of the trouble with this sort of agency is that there do not seem to be any meaningful guidelines to let people know what sort of activities are covered, and worse, the power seems to be totally discretionary.

    If in fact what Illingworth did was a crime, it is quite probable that he had no idea of this.

    I am not a techie but the tape struck me as a fake, especially the stuff toward the end. I couldn't see how it was faked but some of the moves were impossible to carry out without causing lasting and painful damage to the child and this didn't seem to be the case.

    Some of Steve Irwins stuff was enhanced by camera angels etc. but I felt he was taking a bit too much risk there. He was an expert but those damn things can always do the unexpected.

    I think that to get it on Funniest Home Videos the idiot doing it would have had to at least drop the child.