Some things just need repeating. Last week,
#songsfromthesouthisland took hold of the Twitter universe
and an email from a reader of Mackline prompted me to revisit
some of the songs submitted during the night.
I made a couple of meagre offerings but there were others
that were just clever and hilarious.
And here some of them are: Bangarangiora, I was made for
Timaru (baby) and you were made for Waimate, Wuthering Hinds,
Eye of the Twizel, Hotel Rangiora, Bluff the Magic Dragon,
Hazy Shade of Winton, You picked a fine time to leave me
Mosgiel. If I had a Hanmer, Owaka do waka day, Fraction too
much Picton, Milton Prison Blues, Stoke on the Water, Mull of
Kintyre, Wai Wai Wai Waihola, Stairway to Hanmer, Twizel and
Shout and my favourite from @johnascroft - Woodend it be
On a much more serious note, and apologies in advance as this
is something of a repeat from last week, AP reported that a
Kentucky teenager frustrated by light punishment for two boys
who pleaded guilt to sexually assaulting her was spared from
having to face a contempt charge for naming them on Twitter
in violation of a court order.
The case of Savannah Dietrich (17) quickly gathered
supporters who were upset the victim of an assault could be
punished for speaking out against her attackers.
The girl turned to Twitter after she said she was frustrated
with what she felt was a lenient plea deal. The judge had
ordered no-one to speak about the case, which was in a
Attorneys for the boys dropped their motion to charge her
with contempt saying the decision to withdraw the motion had
nothing to do with public sentiment and online attention to
The lawyer said the purpose of the motion had been to enforce
the law that protected juveniles and their actions from
Here is what got people so angry - after the sexual assault,
the boys posted photos of the attack on the internet. The
boys shared the picture of her being raped by their friends
yet she could not share their names with her Twitter
Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organisation of
Women, in the United States, described that situation as
An attorney for one of the boys said publicising their names
may create problems for them in the future.
"There's always that possibility, and in type of scenario
like this you run that risk. Now whether both these boys can
overcome those hurdles, it's too early to determine that,"
the attorney said.
Call me naive if you must, but surely the victim has one or
two issues of her own to overcome, especially if she was
identified on the internet as a rape victim.
No-one should take the law into their own hands, but surely
there needs to be a rethink of the victim's rights in these
sort of cases, otherwise, I believe, victims will be
reluctant to come forward.
Also in the news last week was the White House wanting a "Do
Not Track" option put on websites to give consumers greater
control of their personal information online. But internet
companies and privacy groups are at odds on how tight the
controls should be.
The stalemate could lead to a legislative crackdown on
internet privacy laws if left unresolved.
That has firms such as Google and Facebook, that rely heavily
on collecting user data, worried that any legislation could
lead to cuts in online advertising that would eat into their
The sides are so far apart they do not even agree on what "Do
Not Track" means.
To privacy advocates, it is halting data collection so a
consumer can surf the web without any prying eyes collecting
information about their online activities for economic gain.
To the industry, it means not targeting ads to a consumer
based on their web viewing history, but data collection would
continue for other purposes.
The next step appears to be congressional threats of
legislation to enforce internet privacy, putting internet
companies in the middle of a problem as their business models
rely on consumers parting with their personal information to
lift their advertising revenue.
Online advertisers and web companies say such data is now the
lifeblood of the internet.
Mackline will keep a watch on the issue as it will affect us
in New Zealand.