Should Covid Rule Breakers Be Named and Shamed?

COVID Rule breakers

  • should offenders of this type be named and shamed?
  • will it deter people from flouting rules if people were made an example of?
  • do you think a fine is enough punishment?

EDIT.
as a caveat, seeing that a proportionately high number people are voting NO.
would this sway your decision.

if you or your business was directly affected by this particular rule breaker, would you still vote NO. ?

if your family got seriously ill from this rule breaker ?
if your local area is locked down if an outbreak occurred because they traveled to your area. and your small business needed to close for a week or 2?

Poll Options expired

  • 412
    Yes, photos of offenders should be published
  • 420
    No, their privacy should be respected

Comments

  • +3 votes

    News article link is invalid

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    •  

      see if that works now

    • +4 votes

      News article link is invalid

      Good on ya! Named and shamed him.

  • +73 votes

    If they can't be locked down, they should be locked up.

    • +4 votes

      This. They don't need naming and shaming, but they do need penalties for endangering others.
      Unless they're rich bastards, in which case…

  • +81 votes

    I think lots of people would like the rule breakers named and shamed.
    But if that is what's to be expected after getting busted, no-one is going to be honest with where they've been or what (or who!) they've done to allow the authorities to be able to contact trace properly. I think most would agree that the latter is much more important to the community as a whole rather than naming and shaming a single person.

    • +15 votes

      Precisely. Naming and shaming will make people hesitate to come forward - not what is wanted.
      If I had a business impacted by COVID, I would want everything possible to be done to control it in the community, not make people reluctant to come forward if that sniffle develops into a cough, because they went to the movies yesterday etc.

      • +3 votes

        Last time there was a positive case in NSW, they said the individual had done quarantine and done testing and all that was supposed to be done. The recent couple escaped a lockdown to travel to two states, visiting every single place they could. Whilst there is a line, I personally think the latter should be named and shamed.

    • +5 votes

      I understand your views, but does that not just accept that (some) people are ignoring the restrictions, and they can get away with it because it is only a fine (small to some), and the risks are (assumed by them to be) low, etc.

      The penalties are obviously not working as a disincentive. Maybe they should be much larger in financial terms, with actual follow-through by the legal processes.

      In this case specifically, the couple make a very conscious decision to flout the restrictions.

      • +4 votes

        I understand your views…

        What I wrote above isn't actually my view on the whole thing. It is the actual reason they don't issue fines or penalise the people who have broken the rules and potentially spread the virus. I, like you, personally think they should be penalised too, but given the situation, I can't see any alternatives. We want and need their information to prevent possible further spread and further impact on the community.

        It's a bit ironic, because those that break the law (and don't test positive) receive the fines and penalties while those who end up testing positive and have potentially spread the virus receive nothing.

      • +7 votes

        I understand your views, but does that not just accept that (some) people are ignoring the restrictions, and they can get away with it because it is only a fine (small to some), and the risks are (assumed by them to be) low, etc.

        You have to be careful with this line of logic. Without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing, the logic above is very easily applied to any number of other incidents that occur in the community … various driving offences being the one that most readily springs to mind. Would you be happy for persons booked for speeding, texting, drink driving, drug driving, etc. being equally named and shamed?

        • +2 votes

          Absolutely would be ok with that.

        •  

          Yes?

        •  

          Minor speeding offences, no, but hoon-level speeding, drink driving, absolutely.

      •  

        Contact tracing schemes rely on people being open and honest with the contact tracers. A single case of public retribution would destroy the effectiveness of contract tracing schemes for years to come.

        It's effective contact tracing schemes that give our governments the confidence to end lockdowns. Without effective contract tracing governments would either have to extend lockdowns considerably or give up on them which could result in thousands of deaths.

  • +41 votes

    Naming and shaming of individuals for most reasons is not really in the public interest. All it does is encourage vigilantism and/or the hesitancy of people to come forward if they may have done something wrong.

  • +6 votes

    If we name and shame them, people who may have broken the rules whether on purpose or by accident will no longer want to get tested.

    Yes they did the wrong thing and will probably get a fine but it will discourage others from getting tested and could mean more spreading and lockdowns.

  • +3 votes

    Don’t think they should be named, but I think they should get 1 month jail or something like that

    • +1 vote

      So they cost society more? Prison is expensive

      • +1 vote

        There is a lot than just the sentence. This would bother their service/police records which would mean less opportunities for them if they went ahead for employment and all.

        Personally I think prison may not be good in general for these cases. But certainly recording this as negative service records and imposing community service at appropriate time as such Could be better than nothing.

        •  

          Yeh just bring out the pillory

        • +1 vote

          They should automatically be signed up as cleaners at COVID ward as their community service.

      • +1 vote

        Don't forget prison costs would be cheaper than the economic impact not to mention all the other impacts. I wouldn't mind throwing them into prison. Anything action to this matter will cost money. The way I see it is that is zero deterrent at the moment so let's bring in some penalties.

      •  

        How many of rule breakers are we talking? If just one or two, does that really cost much? If a thousand, then naming and shaming will spread the untrust across society. What's the choice?

  • +6 votes

    No, but at the very least a fat fine if some kind to deter others from doing the same.

    • +5 votes

      I'm being very prejudicial here but I would suggest that a big fine would not be paid by these offenders. They would either ignore it or have some payment plan over the next 20 years.

      • +1 vote

        So true, I was shocked by recent reports that the authorities weren't going to pursue issued fines (in Victoria anyway).

  •  

    I hit the road a week ago and I could swear 90% of the normal traffic .
    GL naming and shaming that amount of people .
    I'm curious what the toll data shows .

    • +1 vote

      Since when hitting a road has got potential concerns to lockdown entire state?
      This is just absurd analogy here to compare Covid vs Road/traffic block.
      Agree though naming and shaming isn’t really a good idea though.

  • +5 votes

    I don't have a problem with the person being identified, much the same a there are numerous news reports about people accused / on trial for other crimes.
    In regard to COVID restrictions, news.com.au were very quick to identify and publish the details of two young women who travelled from Qld to Melb last year, and back again. Of course, news.com.au probably thought that was ok as the two women were of African background.

    This woman, and her husband, intentionally broke the restrictions at the time. They knew what they were doing. They knew the risks, but still did it.
    What is interesting is why they have now decided to be tested; I assume their symptoms are worsening. In doing so, they have also now put at risk the people at the testing site.

    • +5 votes

      apparently the husband needed a negative test result to continue working and thus went and got tested and returned a positive result

      • +2 votes

        The husband was starting a new job and when tested the first time had a negative result while the wife had a positive result. It was on the second test that the husband had a positive result.

    • +2 votes

      They only did it because the husband needed a negative result for work (as per a comment above by @supasaiyan).

    • +6 votes

      All the testing site staff have very good procedures and PPE in case they encounter a positive test.
      They would very much want everyone with symptoms to come forward.

    • +3 votes

      Of course, news.com.au probably thought that was ok as the two women were of African background.

      I don't think their African background had anything to do with the naming and shaming. I think it was the fact that they were still defiant after getting busted and continued to lie to contact tracers about where they'd been or who they'd been with. Also they were happy to go on national TV to say/imply that, given the opportunity, they would be more than happy to do it all over again.

      • +2 votes

        We can probably differ in our opinions on that point.

        It would be interesting and revealing, however, if this couple were directly interviewed on why they thought it would be ok and if they would do it again. Are there any reports of remorse?

        • +3 votes

          It would be interesting and revealing, however, if this couple were directly interviewed on why they thought it would be ok and if they would do it again. Are there any reports of remorse?

          Are you talking about the couple currently in the news?

          There's been some strong suggestions that the couple were moving to queensland for a new job. If they were, they weren't breaking any rules when they travelled out of Melbourne and through NSW. If anything, they may not have had a QLD border permit when crossing into QLD.

          • +2 votes

            @bobbified: Keeping in mind the topic of this post "Should Covid Rule Breakers Be Named and Shamed", if the couple (currently in the news) did not break the rules, then there shouldn't be any reporting, or fines, etc.

            • +5 votes

              @GG57: Indeed.

              And I hope that if anyone does think about releasing their names, check the facts carefully before doing so. Because once the names are out, there's no turning back. Wrongly accusing someone could easily destroy their life.

    •  

      two young women who travelled from Qld to Melb last year, and back again. Of course, news.com.au probably thought that was ok as the two women were of African background.

      Come on now, don't make that about race. Not only did they travel, they were travelling to steal things. They are common criminals.

      They actually did well out of their names being released, as they managed to evade jail time due to being "bullied on Facebook". Oh the humanity!

      On this couple, I don't care if they are named and shamed if it's found that they have broken the rules, they are putting my holiday to the sunny coast at risk.

      •  

        When they were in Melbourne to go on a thieving spree (mainly designer handbags), they also attended a party in an apartment.

    • +22 votes

      Karl is a muppet :)

      • -3 votes

        Shock Jocks are entertaining , not boring like the other guy :)

      •  

        100%
        .

  • +3 votes

    Much as I would like to say yes, word gets around anyway. Imagine living in the same street as them with people driving down the street at all times of the day and night, beeping their horn, yelling abuse etc.
    I suspect they will have a large fine to deal with, and the husband no doubt will cop it at work, despite his Employer trying to hide it, someone up high will leak it their spouse etc, and/or fellow employees will figure out why he can't goto work for at least 2 weeks.

    • +1 vote

      Hope he gets fired

  •  

    Last lockdown people were getting fined left right because of gatherings at people's houses.. wasn't there an article that hardly any of the fines have been paid?

  • +1 vote

    NAME and SHAME of course! and create a social media page for them for the public.

  • +4 votes

    No name and shame.

    Just put them in (medieval) stocks and throw eggs / tomatoes at them at the town square.

    Fines people pay, people have plenty of money. You just need an experience to get it into your mind.

    COVID you can deny the risk until you have multiple people you know die. I have friend in the UK, they told me 2 people close to them have died early 50s and 60s. Have colleagues in India who don't want to go out in case they bring it home and infect their parents, parent who died, colleague who died, colleagues sick and off work.

  • +13 votes

    People who are for naming and shaming probably aren't aware of the impact that a trial by media/social media has on people's lives, and often innocent people's lives; for example the mistaken identification of the Boston bombing perpetrator, and many others.

    With the power of anonymity, social media negative feedback loops and echo chambers, and the instant nature of modern communications, by naming and shaming you would be subjecting people to a simultaneous assualt by 1000's of people who are effectively psychopaths ("lack of emotional sensitivity and empathy, impulsiveness, …insensitivity to punishing consequences").

    This would destroy lives, with a presumption of guilt instead of innocence, and this would in turn reduce people coming forward, increase dishonesty, and basically send us backwards in terms of having a supportive, positive Australian community.

    Have some empathy: Imagine you had gotten COVID from an unknown source, no hotspots or anything, and your family had just gotten over colds. You would assume you have just picked up their colds, you may just be as sniffly as usual, because you have allergic rhinitis. You may have no symptoms at all. You may also turn out to be a false positive.

    If named and shamed, you would receive death threats, your family would receive death threats, your property would be vandalised, destroyed, stolen. you would be publicly harassed and perhaps assaulted. You would likely lose your job, friends, communities, and may be forced to move.

    You might think people who have broken a directive deserve this, but how do you know they do? What if they're in an abusive relationship, or are depressed, manic, or in some other state of mind when they made a small mistake?

    You can deal with negative feelings without harming others, and more people in Australia obviously need to.

    • +4 votes

      Completely understand what you are saying.
      But in this specific case, the couple made a very deliberate decision to flout the restrictions (and in doing so put everyone else at risk). They should be made to pay the penalties for this, which I understand are only fines.
      And perhaps, because the incident has been reported widely, the publics' expectation is that the 'criminals' should be visibly held to account. If that is a legal process, fine, or some other penalty, that should be enough.

      • -5 votes

        "But in this specific case, the couple made a very deliberate decision to flout the restrictions"

        Did they? What if they are just idiots and didn't know about the restrictions? What if they were told incorrect information? What if there were other personal circumstances forcing them to do what they did?
        We don't know anything about them, their states or qualities of mind, or their decision making process.

        I don't know if anyone pays their parking, speeding, drink driving fines, child support or their fair share of the split bill. How would I? Why should I? COVID Fines are the same, and is there any confirmed evidence that COVID fines are unpaid at a higher rate than other fines?

        I agree that fines in Australia are essentially just a system of allowing rich people to do what they like, but I still don't believe this justifies naming and shaming, two wrongs don't make a right..

        • +11 votes

          "What if they are just idiots and didn't know about the restrictions? What if they were told incorrect information?"

          Ignorance of the law is not a defense against it.

          •  

            @Sleeqb7: I wasn't saying it was a defence, It's the difference between malice and negligence, which is the point I was trying to make; that it may not have been a "deliberate decision to flout the restrictions".

            • +4 votes

              @Tunblor: The wife was sick and showing symptoms days before leaving Victoria so I would say they knowingly crossed borders and put other people's lives at risk.

  • +12 votes

    Echos of the East German Stasi whereby people were required to dob in their family and neighbors.
    Thought society had moved on from those vigilante days

    • +4 votes

      No-one has dobbed them in.

    • -1 vote

      Yeah man, that’s exactly what it is.

  • +4 votes

    No, ciminalising the issue prevents people coming forward for testing, increasing the timer taken to contact trace and locate exposure sites. This would in fact have the reverse effect of then preventing/delaying or 'waiting till they got home' to do a test etc.

    Imagine if they would be identified, they might have tried to 'make it home' via dozens of places, all whilst still potentially a spreader? much worse than coming forward (yes, poor example, they didn't test through conscientiousness, but necessity), but there will always be some people so self absorbed they believe their right to a jolly is more important than anything else. Look at the anti maskers/vaxxers/lockdowners.

    You can't legislative away stupidity or selfishness, you just need to create a better world so future generations don't inherit the learned selfish behaviours.

    • +1 vote

      Do you think that we should penalise stupidity or selfishness?

  • +4 votes

    Name and shame the ones that knowingly break the rules not the incidental ones.

    • +1 vote

      How do you differentiate? Also, once the cat's out of the bag, you can't reverse the momentum of social media and the damage it can do if you find out details later that explain what happened.

      • +2 votes

        If someone has tested positive and still go out as an example.

        I think people escaping quarantine zones for a holiday is not on. Though I understand the recent one was because of a new job.

      •  

        How do you differentiate

        seems quite easy, if you lie to authorities in order to travel, break restrictions that you have obviously been informed of (e.g. told to self-isolate) then it is pretty damn obvious it was done knowingly.

  • +3 votes

    No naming and shaming as that would encourage people to keep quiet about it even more. However, I do think a fine, one that they have to pay (no leniency on "oh I'm living paycheck to paycheck and can't afford this"), high enough that they care about it, is appropriate. Although again it's a fine balance as you don't want people to be too deterred from admitting their wrongdoing.

    • +2 votes

      I think the issue with the current penalties is that the general population do not have visibility of anyone actually being penalised, so they make decisions such as this couple did.
      If the imposition of penalties is reported, along with the circumstances that led to that penalty, perhaps we don't need to know more specific details of the people.

      •  

        Yes, I think that's a step in the right decision. Like a poster above mentioned, anecdotally it seems like fines were issued but aren't being pursued and so aren't paid. The lack of consequence perceived by many just means it's worth the "risk", "because chances are, I'm fine". Although not sure govt will like that given that there will be people crying how the govt is ruthlessly chasing them for the fine when they can't afford it (and yet they can afford to travel for holidays or buying that new phone).

        •  

          We did see the federal government announce that anyone returning from India 'unauthorised' would be jailed, and then the next day say that no-one would probably be actually jailed.
          Mixed messages?

  • +2 votes

    They were named and shamed last year when they weren’t white…

    But no. I don’t believe anyone should be.

    •  

      That is probably more a news.com.au policy decision.

      •  

        Agreed, but many other outlets echoed that.

    • +4 votes

      They were named and shamed last year when they weren’t white…

      https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/perth-...

      This was last year, but I think this one has been the harshest penalty of them all.. even until now. And she's white.

      •  

        I stand corrected. That is quite a penalty.

        This was what I was referencing, and the absolutely awful language the media used last July.

        https://files.ozbargain.com.au/upload/120319/89503/271fd7ae-...

        •  

          It that a joke you believe any crap in a Murdock paper ?
          And worry about comparisons ?
          For intellectual people about the only use is toilet paper .( even fails at that ) lol .

          • +1 vote

            @popsiee: The point was to highlight that for a similar situation, there is a stark difference in language used by the media toward people of colour - it has nothing to do with whether I read these papers or not (though for the record, I do not).

        •  

          did you follow the case? they got off with a slap on the wrist for (profanity) an entire state. but sure, blame it on their skin colour bro

      • +1 vote

        shh ur ruining the narrative!

  • +2 votes

    Several outbreaks in NSW had started in Eastern/Northern suburbs where the best people live. I, as a temporarily embarrassed millionaire, enjoy how the NSW government protect the rich/diplomats by conveniently not finding the sources and expose poor people to public.

  • +6 votes

    and what exactly does naming and shaming achieve ?

  • +2 votes

    I don't think they deserve much more criminal punishment than exists now. I don't believe in shaming them. They do need to be named so that civil proceedings to recover damages can be recovered.

    Businesses may need to be closed. Staff may have cars repossessed because they can't work and make repayments. People could die and family breadwinners lost. We need to be able to take legitimate legal action against these people. The state should not shelter and protect them from the consequences of their actions.

    • -2 votes

      All of those things you mentioned are being caused BY THE STATE and not by actual sick people. And yes, we need to take legitimate action against the state and the politicians.

      •  

        I guess it's like many things we don't live in a police state. A parallel is drink driving. The law does not stop you from hopping in your car and driving when drunk. It does punish you if you are caught breaking the law. On a civil side breaking the rules exposes you to liability to the people you harm. I cannot see how this is in anyway different. I don't even think they need be publicly named. That is often a side affect of our court system. Their names need to be available to the legal representatives of their victims.

        Breaching quarantine/ lockdowns is not often a victimless crime.

      • +5 votes

        Why don't you sue the Federal government for not doing quarantine. State governments are not meant to be doing it since 1901.

  • +3 votes

    It’s just been said on the Victorian press conference that if the couple were in fact relocating then they have not breached any Victorian lockdown restrictions, however they have yet to discuss it with the couple themselves.

  • +2 votes

    I'd like the Gov to make an example of someone instead of threatening massive fines and jail and never doing any of it…why wouldn't you take your chances to go to sunny anywhere but Vic…

  • +1 vote
    •  

      hahahah loved it. do you have herpes?

  •  

    A question - if the couple is charged with a crime, would their details be released?

    •  

      Yes, usually, unless the magistrate or judge makes a special order because of extenuating circumstances.
      Go take a look on the court rolls website, you can see everyone. The Daily Tele even publishes lists of names on its web site.

  • +1 vote

    Unfortunately not, they shouldn't even be charged.. why? because when people break the rules in future, they wont come forward and get tested like this particular individual did.

    If there were a precedence of these individuals being punished after doing the wrong thing, then people who are doing the wrong thing would not come forward and get tested.

    Yes it sucks, yes its frustrating, but it's more important for them to get tested than for them to be punished.

    • +2 votes

      If they are not punished, others will follow. The fine is minamilstic anyway. However, it makes civil liability easier to prove.

      • +2 votes

        I think emphasis should be on catching people doing the wrong thing in the first place, and punishing the crap out of them.
        These people were only caught because they came forward for testing - they practically handed themselves in.

        These people managed to traverse the country without being stopped once.. at a time that a state is in lockdown and barred from other states. That to me says that we are not doing enough to analyse the movements of people around the country (specifically at this point in time, not at all times). Because I can guarantee this individual wont be the only one that has snuck across the border.

  •  

    Let's look at this from a more macro level. Why are we focusing specifically on this couple when it's likely a majority of us have been 'covid rule breakers?' In Victoria we all got so complacent right before this outbreak, we've all created this situation we're in.

    In May before the outbreak there were lots of people on public transport not wearing masks and people in crowded shopping centres not social distancing. And let's not forget that we basically forgot QR codes and signing in existed which ultimately has led to the spread of this outbreak to what it is in not being faster to track and control the spread. We all got complacent and broke the rules as if COVID-19 wasn't still a thing, and that's what has led to individuals making dumb decisions overrall- thinking that it wasn't such a big deal and that everything would be fine.

    It could have been anyone of us that has been directly involved in this outbreak because us as a society got complacent again. Do you want to be named and shamed for every time you didn't wear a mask on PT, got too close to someone else or didn't check in?