The Facebook threat
The Facebook threat

Make threats online and face the charges

DIGILANTISM must stop. That's the message from a leading police officer after a man made bashing threats on a public Facebook site.

The Calliope Classifieds Facebook member threatened to "brutally beat a man in the head with solid objects".

Gladstone CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said anyone who made threats online could face charges, including using a carriage service to make a threat and assault.

He said police did not encourage vigilantism - or digilantism as it is known in the social media world.

Gladstone Classifieds moderator Deborah Campbell said: "Unfortunately we do come about this these vigilante posts every now and again, and admin will delete the thread as soon as possible.

"The person will be warned via private message for their language and threats, they will be urged to call the police if they are concerned for their property," she said.

Rebecca Hansen, the administrator of Calliope Classifieds, said the disturbing post had been deleted.

She said she hadn't needed to delete many posts in the past.

Social media expert Brendan Murphy, from Central Queensland University, said digilantism came to the limelight after a man wrongly accused of being the Boston Bomber on Reddit died.

"Research has shown that the kind of people who tend to harass and bully online exhibit the same kinds of antisocial personality traits in real life," he said.

"The online communications tools we all use today provide a new forum for antisocial behaviour as well as for social behaviour.

"I personally know of one case where an individual with a unique name was forced into a situation of needing a name change to be distanced from the online record of a bullying campaign," he said.

Most Facebook community groups have rules which regulate the actions of their members.

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