I love social media sites, especially those community notice boards. Occasionally they throw up little gems like these:
“And the employee of the week goes to…. the wing nut from xxx Company driving a white Territory xxx number plate through Murrumbateman this morning. Your skill in driving that motorcyclist off the road at the end of the overtaking lane before McIntosh was carried out in a true ‘I don’t give a sh*t’ style. You upped the ante by speeding through the road works and then you forced another vehicle on to the shoulder at the end of the Capricorn overtaking merge. Outstanding examples of truly crap driving – you represent your employer well!
And this :
“Must be the morning for morons! I reported the toyota with the numberplate “XXX'” to the police this morning as they got cranky that no-one would let them speed through the roadworks and then came from 2 cars behind to run me off the road at the Capricorn over taking lane , I hope mine and yours meet each other one morning in a head on and then that will be 2 less w*nkers to deal with !
I’ve deleted out number plate details, and hidden the companies name for this exercise. However the question needs to be asked: Is it ever okay to name and shame on social media? Sure, a good vent with like minded people might make you feel better, and perhaps even solicit responses such as that highlighted above.
However, is it dangerous? After all what happens if someone loses a job over this and then decides to go online and finds the person who posted the evidence? Some people even post dash cam videos or snap pictures on mobile phones and post.
Sure, from time to time I’ve named and shamed car owners who have blatantly illegally parked in disabled spots, but usually only after a bit of thought. I am usually left though with the feeling I have possibly breached someone’s privacy in some way. My one rule here though is if it’s a diplomatic vehicle I’m right onto it. Last year, I named the same US Embassy DC plated car stopping in a disabled spot day after day. Eventually, we received an apology and a promise the law would not be broken again.
There will be some people who might say they deserved it because they’re doing the wrong thing, endangering lives, or making disabled parking difficult. Some might even say it’s none of my business, it’s police who deal with this.
Really, try calling Gungahlin or Tuggeranong police with a complaint that someone nearly ran you off the road and due to lack of evidence or the fact no-one was actually hurt, it ends up it being a low priority if at all.
So, over to you RiotACT folk. Name and shame – or simply let it be?
Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.