This past weekend a group of us attended a concert in celebration of the Grey Cup weekend. Being the designated driver, my sensitivity to those around me was perhaps on higher alert than those enjoying spirits of one kind or another.
Our group was located on the floor where it was standing room only. Due to the number of festivities taking place for Grey Cup weekend in Regina, this venue was certainly busy but not uncomfortably packed. During the concert, I happened to notice a tall, thick in build, lone man somewhere in his mid 50s to early 60s, enjoying the concert. Behind him were a group of 5 or 6 young men around the age of 19. This group of young and very inebriated men were intentionally pushing one another into this older man and recording it with their iPhones. This of course is a condensed version of the event.
This type of situation is not new to the 21st century. Unfortunately, it seems the recording of illegal behavior such as assault has become, for some, a way of initiation or celebration of strength. According to the Canadian Criminal Code, section 423(1) encompasses all means of intimidation. From what I understand, when videos of any criminal activity are posted and the law enforcement can track down who it was and prove intent, the criminals will be held accountable.
I am wondering if this man had retaliated, stood up to these bullies, was recorded and it was posted to the net, what consequences would there be for him? What if someone from his work witnessed this act of retalliation? Would the video capture the amount of times he had ignored their attacks? Would it capture the fact that I had gone to get the security guards, who unfortunately did not seem to have the skills necessary to deal with the situation?
More and more, people are innocently being recorded or photographed without their consent and it is being posted to the internet. Many times, the act they are caught in is in fact innocent but the wrong people see it and don’t have the full story. For example, a Catholic staff member who had attended a stagette was photographed drinking from a penis cup. The picture ended up being posted to Facebook. This staff member was than reprimanded for this photograph, as this was not appropriate behavior for a Catholic staff member. As it was explained to the staff member, had the photograph not been posted, no one would have known .
Other than taking refuge in our homes, what can we do to protect ourselves from ending up on the internet left for others to judge?