Cops Are Contacting People Who Clicked ‘Attending’ On A Satirical, Anti-Gladys Facebook Event
Please don't poo on Gladys Berejiklian's doorstep.
Over the last few months, Gladys Berejiklian has earned a reputation as an autocrat who refuses to listen to the Australian people on issues such as pill-testing, and whose government uses the rule of law to wage a misguided war against youth culture.
Now, in a move that will not help such a reputation, it appears that any Facebook users who have responded to a satirical event about leaving a poo on Berejiklian’s doorstep might find that they have received a DM from an active member of the NSW Police Force.
As first reported by Sniff Off, an anti-drug dog advocacy group, the whole debacle began with the creation of a satirical Facebook event named “Leave a poo at Gladys Berejiklian’s doorstep”.
A tongue in cheek response to the Berejiklian government’s stance on music festivals and pill-testing, the event quickly garnered more than 13,000 thousand responses. But soon after clicking, ‘attending’, an unidentified Facebook user got a message from ‘Michael Alexander’, who purported to be from North Shore Area Command.
The NSW Police Force: brutalising Aboriginal people, intimidating people from accessing medical help at festivals and…
“North Shore Police would like to discuss a planned event you are involved with at the office of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s [sic],” read the message.
“Are you please able to provide a phone number that we may contact you on. If you are not comfortable doing this please phone North Sydney Police Station and request to speak with Inspector Craig Huleatt.”
On first glance, the message looks like it might have been sent by an impostor pretending to be Michael Alexander, who is indeed a North Shore-based Police Officer. After all, that Michael Alexander’s profile picture is a low-res image of the NSW Police Force logo does not exactly inspire confidence that the messenger is legit.
For that reason, Junkee contacted NSW Police to the post, asked them to verify that the message was sent by an active member of the force, and pressed them on whether it is usual for officers to use Facebook messenger in such a manner.
In response, the Police Force said this: “Although it’s not encouraged, police officers may use social media on rare occasions to contact a person when there is no other option available.”
So yep: Michael Alexander is for real, and operating within the boundaries of acceptable — if not encouraged — police behaviour.
Cynics may scoff but Gladys Berejiklian asking the youth to knock off the drugs hasn't been tried before and I for one look forward to a future of drug-free festivals https://t.co/wrIqDSBqR5
— Floyd the K (@floydthek) January 28, 2019
For Sniff Off, this is one more volley in a bizarre culture war waged by the Berejiklian government.
“The fact that the NSW Police Force is seriously investigating a Facebook event called “Leave a poo at Gladys Berejiklian’s doorstep” is ridiculous,” a spokesperson for Sniff Off told Junkee. “The event is clearly a tongue-in-cheek protest against the Premier’s failure to bring about change that actually benefits the people of NSW. This is a waste of police resources and taxpayer money.
“We believe NSW Police should be protecting the serving the community, not investigating joke Facebook events or intimidating people from accessing medical help at music festivals.”
And we can’t believe this needs to be said, but please don’t poo on Gladys Berejiklian’s doorstep.
“North Shore Police Area Command are aware of the satirical nature of this event,” NSW Police told Junkee. “However, warns any member of the public who attends the office and commits an offence, will be dealt with appropriately.”