A Lawyer On How Memes & Call Out Culture Is Changing The Law

Most of our lives happen online in this day and age.

In the palm of our hands we can find love, order brunch, share a spicy meme, check in to work… or a festival, or a wine-tasting event, or even a Federation Square tribute to Owen Wilson’s notorious pronunciation of the word, ‘wow!’.

But what about the more serious stuff?

2018 has proved a big year on social media when it comes to re-tweeting, re-posting and sharing injustices.

The birth of the #MeToo movement saw women exposing just how fed up they are with sexual harassment and assault online. But rather than staying hush-hush in private, or dragging their feet through the traditional legal landscape that—more often than not—fails to achieve justice for victims of sexual crimes, a hashtag seemed more effective in the twenty-first century. Wow.

But because the birth of social media is still a relatively new invention, the lines are often blurred as to what we can and can’t get away with on the ‘gram.

Taking the piss out of ScoMo? I guess that’s fine, right? Distributing ridiculous memes of Pauline Hanson donned in a burqa? Surely that’s cool? Insinuating that the Trump‘s got a tiny bepis? I mean, everybody else is, so it must be okay.

The truth is, there seems to be no clear cut answer. At least not on any online forums we frequent.

So we put our online anxieties to the test and spoke to employment lawyer Mia Panchetis from Maurice Blackburn in the final episode of our podcast No Chill about all things law and order… namely the powers bestowed on your average keyboard warrior, and if it’s possible to be taken to court for making a deliciously controversial meme:

We also speak to modern-day satirist Campbell Walker (@struthless69) about whether or not he has to jump through any judicial hoops when creating offensively funny online content, that—more often than not—blurs the boundaries between what’s allowed and what isn’t.

From bin chickens to political parody, Campbell leaves no stone unturned.

Hooked? You can keep up to date with each ep drop by following No Chill on Twitter, here.

And as always – don’t keep calm, but do carry on.