Australian authorities thought they nabbed coronavirus lockdown violators — only to find out the photos posted on social media were a year old.
A South Australian couple was hit with a hefty fine from cops for nonessential travel amid the pandemic after the pair posted old vacation snaps on Facebook, according to a report.
I get that everyone is very cautious of the coronavirus - as you should be. However, when the police are starting to monitor people's Facebook pages for vacation pictures, it's a little much. I get trying to keep people off the beaches and other places of public traffic but this is a little much. If they really wanted to bust people who were violating quarantine procedures then maybe they should be...out and about, looking for those people - NOT on Facebook. That or they could get robot policemen to roam the streets like in Tunisia.
All these people wanted to do was reminisce on a time where they weren't locked up all day, every day and could, you know, go outside. Going outside is so foreign now that when I watch a TV show and see people interacting in public places, I'm shocked. I guess my body/brain is just to used to not being allowed to come in contact with people who have been outside your quarantine zone. So there is a small part of me that resonates with these cops.
The husband and wife were fined the equivalent of $1,000 each by state police for “going for a drive to Lakes Entrance,” which was deemed a violation of the country’s strict lockdown.
The couple was warned that if they “posted any more photos” they would “be arrested,” Jaz Mott told the publication.
Then again, I'm not going around handing out $1,000 fines and threatening to arrest people because they simply posted a photo on Facebook. That's borderline insanity. I get the idea behind it, I really do, but it just seems a little preposterous and quite frankly, a little overkill. Perhaps a bit of questioning would've been effective here.
"Were you recently at the beach, your Facebook post indicates that you were"
"No. That picture is almost a year old now"
FIN. Simple as that! A couple of questions go a long way in today's world, everyone is just so quick to jump to conclusions.
The police eventually owned up to the misunderstanding and revoked the fine.
“This incident has been reviewed and the decision has been made to withdraw the infringement notice,” a Victoria police spokesperson told The Independent.
“On occasion, errors will be made however that is why a review process exists to ensure instances such as these are identified and rectified.”
The fine-happy police also denied they were Facebook stalking residents to find lockdown rulebreakers.
Thankfully the police admitted they were wrong and revoked the fine. They kind of had to, no other choice really. It's that or have some lengthy legal battle which no one wants. It's pretty absurd to say they aren't stalking Facebook users as they literally find someone for posting on Facebook with no context whatsoever. This is one of those cases where you just have to put your hand up and say "I fucked up" if you're the police.
I guess that means I won't be posting any of the risqué photos I've taken on the beach. Just on the off chance that the police aren't (heavy wink implied) stalking my social media. I literally cannot afford the fine.