Tasmanian cops decline to 'censor internet'

 

Posting to Facebook isn't a crime.

Tasmania's police force has taken the unusual step of asking the public to stop alerting it to every "abusive or harassing" comment posted to Facebook or other social media sites.

The force said it was "increasingly receiving complaints" about material posted to the sites.

However, it sought to clarify that "the use of technology to undertake some conduct does not in itself create an offence".

"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," the department noted.

"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.

"It is not the role of Tasmania Police to censor internet content."

Acting inspector Luke Manhood urged the public to lodge complaints directly with Facebook.

"Police should be contacted only where the content relates directly to a crime," he said.

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