Man Faces Jail Time After Threatening Woman On Facebook

We’ve all seen online harassment happen all over social media. Perhaps, we have even been a victim of unnecessarily cruel comments. Although it’s a common occurrence, perpetrators hardly ever deal with repercussions from their harsh words. But a groundbreaking case in Australia may be the beginning of a new movement for greater regulation online.

ABC Australia reported that a man named Chris Hall shared a screenshot of Olivia Melville’s Tinder profile on Facebook in August 2015. He captioned it, “Stay classy ladies. I’m surprised she’d still be hungry for lunch.” Hall’s caption was commenting on Melville’s bio which said, “Type of girl that will suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you.” It seems Hall didn’t know these are song lyrics from Drake‘s verse in Nicki Minaj‘s “Only.”

Olivia Melville, Chris Hall


It wasn’t long before other Facebook users began to comment on Hall’s post. A man said, “This is why I worry about having a daughter.” But there was also a defender for Melville, Paloma Newton, who is a friend of Melville. Newton soon found herself being attacked by another man Zane Alchin, 25, who wrote over 50 angry, unfiltered comments.

“The best thing about a feminist they don’t get action so when you rape them it feels 100 times tighter,” said Alchin. “It’s people like you who make it clear women should never have been given rights.” He continued, “Kill it before it breeds.”

Hall felt the immediate consequences for his original post when he lost his job. Melville and her friends founded Sexual Violence Won’t Be Silenced, an advocacy group that urges the Senate to deal with online harassment and threats. And Alchin was reported to the authorities for his hate-filled comments and online harassment.

Alchin was charged with, “using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.” He has pled guilty and now faces up to three years behind bars. Australia was ahead of its time when these laws were put into motion, which was before social media platforms even existed.

Newton was satisfied with Australia’s reaction to the situation. She released a statement after Hall pleaded guilty, “This case will be the first of its kind and will represent a landmark victory for opponents of online harassment. We will no longer be silenced.”

[H/T: The Cut]

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