Remember those laws Queensland was working on to combat so-called “Facebook parties”? They’re set to go before Parliament this week. If you’re caught running a party that has got out of hand, you’re in for the legal high-jump.
Basically, if you’re caught running or attending an “out-of-control” party, or “Facebook party” as it’s being bastardised as under these new laws, you’ll face a maximum penalty of 12 months jail or a fine of $12,100. If police experience resistance, or “aggravated and violent circumstances” as it’s described, that fine goes up to $18,150 or a penalty of three years in jail.
Worse still, parents of party hosts may be dragged into the mix and face the same jail term or fine amount as the kids organising or attending the parties under the new law.
It’s a little vague calling these events “Facebook parties”, considering that you don’t exactly need the Facebook platform to host a party that can get out of control. There’s also an interesting question afoot about what describes an “out-of-control” party. An old person might call and complain that you’re playing the music too loud next door and have it branded an “out-of-control” party, while younger people at a gathering of 500 people might just think that’s a normal occurrence.
Branding something as a “Facebook party” is like sticking the word “cyber” in front of something to imply it happened on the internet: it still happened in the real world too, it just makes it easier to describe to people who are frightened of technology.
Speaking of people who don’t understand stuff, a social media campaign will be launched by the Queensland Police Service for kids looking to plan a party “responsibly”. Because that’s what every kid wants really: a party planned for them by the police. Nothing says fun quite like a police party!
These new laws go before Queensland State Parliament this week.