Like millions of people around the world, an Australian couple, Jaz and Garry Mott had some time on their hands, so they decided to post some photos from a vacation they took last year on Facebook. It didn’t take long for word to get out to Victoria Police that the couple was seen in—gasp!—vacation photos on social media during a coronavirus lockdown on citizens that prevented them from any non-essential travel.
Yesterday, New York City Mayor de Blasio asked citizens to snitch on each other if they see their neighbors or people in public standing closer than 6 feet apart. The Democrat mayor told New Yorkers in a video he posted on Twitter that snitching on fellow New Yorkers is as easy as taking a photo, tagging the location of the photo, and sending it to law enforcement.
Have we, as a society, allowed our elected officials to take Wuhan virus lockdown measures too far? Is it okay to ask citizens to snitch on their neighbors? Should police be reacting to calls from people snitching on friends who post vacation photos on Facebook? In the case of one Australian couple who dared to post one-year-old vacation photos on Facebook, it would appear that is exactly what happened.
According to the U.K. Independent-Ms Mott posted 12 photos of herself and her husband onto Facebook on 5 April, tagging in the location as Lakes Entrance, around two hours from their home in Traralgon.
A few days later, on 9 April, the couple was shocked to find a police officer at their door.
Jaz Mott said the officer “just handed me the fine and walked off,” which didn’t leave a whole lot of time to explain that the couple was being fined for “infringement” of the lockdown order there banning nonessential travel.
The fine was for $1,652 Australian dollars (or $1,041 in U.S. dollars).
“The Sargent told me if I posted any more photos, I will be arrested,” Jaz Mott told the Independent.
The Victoria Police Department issued the pro forma “mistakes were made” statement.
“This incident has been reviewed, and the decision has been made to withdraw the infringement notice,” a department representative said.