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NSW Does Defamation have to be Personally Directed?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Mike Rowedick, 29 September 2015.

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  1. Mike Rowedick

    Mike Rowedick Active Member

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    For a defamation case against the NSW government or a government department, does the defamation have to be personally directed?

    What if the government department created an advertising campaign that used a disability as a form of insult to get a separate message across to the general public. What if the government created advertising to battle the current "ice" epidemic by insinuating that if you are a drug user using "ice" then everyone will think you are mentally handicapped? Would a mentally handicapped person have any recourse if they had been severely affected by their handicap being used as an insult?
     
  2. Mike Rowedick

    Mike Rowedick Active Member

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    I have noticed many posts here go unanswered or they need more information provided, so I will do something that I had not first intended to do by posting more information. I have used my usual fake online name so I don't further embarrass myself and humiliate myself. The government and the RTA has already made me live through years of degradation and humiliation. Below is my letter I emailed to the Minister for Transport, the RTA and The Advertising Standards Board.

    To whom it may concern,

    This letter of compliment is being sent to The Minister for Transport, The RTA and the Advertising Standards Board.

    The RTA TV commercial where the women wiggle their pinkie finger at young male drivers whom are driving dangerously has not been on TV for some time now but only recently 2 large billboards near my home depicting the woman wiggling her pinkie finger with the “No one thinks big of you” slogan were recently taken down.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to complain but I know a complaint would go unread, so I decided to compliment the RTA on its success in changing my driving behavior and changing my life.

    I’d like to congratulate the RTA on the success of this advertisement. I read in complaint reference number 214/07 that the complaints about the advertisement was considered and dismissed. My reason for congratulating the RTA is because it did change my driving behavior and indeed my life.

    I am a 44 year old male with a physical deformity called micropenis and this advertisement made me feel totally worthless and I started to self harm by slashing my arms with a scalpel blade every time the advertisement came on TV or when I drove past the huge roadside billboards.

    Each time I drove past one of the billboards, I would accelerate to double the posted speed limit in the hope that the police would stop me so I could slash my wrists in front of them. I always carried scalpel blades in my car along with a few towels to catch all the blood.

    On one occasion after driving from Maitland to Newcastle and passing this billboard, I felt like a freak because my medical condition was being used to degrade men. I ended up slashing my arms numerous times. I went to a local beach to wash my arms when I was surrounded by 5 police cars. Eight police officers surrounded my vehicle and one officer approached my window and told me to put my hands on the steering wheel. I did this and was then instructed to turn my arms over so he could see the inside of my forearms. I did this and he saw all the cuts and blood. He asked what I had done and I told him that I cut myself when I feel angry or depressed because cutting makes me feel better. An ambulance attended a short time later and washed down my wounds. The entire time I was treated like a common criminal with a constant stream on onlookers driving past to see what situation needed the attendance of 5 police vehicles. The police demanded that I get into the ambulance and be taken to a local psychiatric hospital otherwise they would arrest me.

    I just thought the RTA would like to know about the reactions to this advertising campaign and to see the results caused by their advertisement. I doubt their would be any other men with micropenis who have complained because having a micropenis was already seen as shameful before the RTA added to the shame of being less of a man by having a medical condition that men have no control over, so I doubt anyone would expose themselves as a worthless freak with a micropenis.,I have suffered from severe depression and a social phobia since 1990 and have not worked since 2000 because I find it difficult to go outside my house because I feel all women are laughing at me and I feel inferior to other men. Thanks RTA for making my depression and social phobia much worse than it already was.

    In the determination where the complaints were dismissed it was stated that “The Board also noted the use of the 'pinkie' finger sign in the advertisement. The Board considered that most people would understand this to mean, not that the person has a small penis per se, but rather
    that the person is less of a man or is demonstrating behavior that is not considered acceptable by the person using the sign.”

    So in effect, the Advertising Standards Board is admitting that in their view, if a man has a small penis, then he is less of a man. Why not just say that if you drive irresponsibly then you are a fool or an idiot? I guess that would be offending fools and idiots if the RTA did that, so it was probably best that you did choose to offend people who are worthless losers and likely already too ashamed of their medical condition to come forward and complain. I had originally wanted to place a complaint when the campaign first started and went to the Advertising Standards website and found that the advertisement, posters and billboards had already been complained about but the complaint dismissed.

    I had to endure a lengthy campaign that used my medical condition as a form of insult to degrade men about their penis size, so I simply ask that you now watch my video which shows the results of what your advertising campaign did to my life. The link to my video.

    My video was removed and I was banned from Youtube due to the graphic self harm content.

    I’d really like the people who made and or approved this advertisement to watch my entire video to see what effect their campaign had on my life. Thanks RTA for changing my driving behavior and for making my life even more intolerable than it already was.
     
  3. Mike Rowedick

    Mike Rowedick Active Member

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    I didn't expect any replies. I have come to realise that being discriminated against, being degraded and humiliated for having a medical condition is only considered inappropriate or illegal when it is a medical condition that is taken seriously and not treated as a hilarious joke.

    Being less of a man because you suffer from micropenis will always be an acceptable thought and degrading and humiliating those whom suffer from it will always be acceptable. If there was an advertising campaign that inferred that you were gay or you must be a Jew or an Asian or you have down syndrome if you drive recklessly, there would be outrage but because they use the most sensitive thing that men are already too ashamed to admit to having and because it has always been used to humiliate men and is treated as a joke, they can escape being accountable for their actions.
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    In order to establish an action for defamation, you must show that the defamatory statement could reasonably be taken to be about you. It is a question of whether an ordinary reasonable person having knowledge of the relevant circumstances would read the material as referring to you. This is most easily satisfied when the publication actually names you however it is enough that the publication is made to persons with knowledge of other facts which would reasonably enable them to identify you. Therefore, based on what you have stated no defamation has taken place here.

    For an action in negligence resulting in mental harm you would need to establish that the RTA owed you a duty of care. I don't believe this is a recognised category of duty, so you would have to prove that you were in a special relationship of proximity to the RTA which required it to take special care toward you. I don't like your chances of this either.

    As for discrimination, you must be able to prove that it occurred in a field of activity set out in the legislation. The areas specified in Australian anti-discrimination legislation vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and include employment, education, the provision of goods and services, the provision of accommodation, the disposition of land, membership of clubs, and the administration of laws and government programs. I'm not sure which field this could be brought under.

    Ultimately it appears to come down to you taking offence over an advertisement, which is not actionable.

    You appear to be, understandably, very angry. But you won't get far either on a forum board or with the RTA by being sarcastic or aggressive. I suggest you focus your energies on the positive aspects of your life and improving your outlook.
     

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