Bleats

Catfishing On A Dating App Could Earn You A Sexual Assault Charge

Turns out lying is a bad thing.

Finding “the one” on dating apps is a tough proposition these days. Not only is there a big pool of people you need to swipe through and match with first, there’s also the problem with unsavoury folk who are on those apps for the sole purpose of catfishing others.

Well good news to all you single people out there! There could be some serious consequences on the horizon for those who get off on catfishing.

According to proposed changes to consent laws by the NSW Law Reform Commission (via news.com.au), people who catfish others on dating apps or straight up lies about themselves in order to get laid could be slapped with sexual assault charges on top of the fraud charges they’ll cop.

The proposed change states that consent is invalidated when a person has sex with someone but is mistaken about their identity, the “nature of the sexual activity,” the “purpose of the sexual activity”, or is “fraudulently induced to participate in the sexual activity”.

So in other words:

In addition to the heavier consequences for catfishing, the proposed law changes also tightened up definitions of consent and included a non-exhaustive list of circumstances in which a person doesn’t consent to sexual activity, such as:

  • does not do or say anything to communicate consent
  • does not have the capacity to consent
  • is so affected by alcohol or another drug as to be incapable of consenting
  • is asleep or unconscious
  • is coerced, blackmailed intimidated or unlawfully detained

While these proposed changes drew in mixed reactions from the likes of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and the Feminist Legal Clinic, there’s still a ways to go before these Law Reform Commission’s proposals become law so there could still be more changes to come.

It remains to be seen what will ultimately happen but it’s hard to argue against new laws that’ll weed out all the catfishing fraudsters on dating apps, as well as the tighter definitions of consent. Besides, lying isn’t a solid foundation to start any kind of relationship anyway.

For A Dollar, Who Would You Have Sex With: Chris Evans Or Paul Rudd?

Be honest.

In an age of fake news and misrepresentation of facts, there are two things that remain true no matter how much spin you try to put on it: Chris Evans and Paul Rudd are two gorgeous men.

And as one is wont to do when two mega attractive Hollywood celebrities are talked about in the same sentence, you are obligated to ponder on the following question: who would you rather bone, Chris Evans or Paul Rudd?

This isn’t just some thirsty little hypothetical that I’ve been dwelling on for years (well, mostly). I bring this up because of Chris Evans’ appearance on Billy Eichner‘s popular Billy on the Street series.

The first chunk of the episode is the usual collection of greatest hits from all the other Billy of the Street episodes – Billy yelling a lot, many confused strangers, the celebrity guest being dragged along for the ride – but things get taken up a notch when Billy and Chris happen to run into Paul Rudd on the street.

And since it was a golden opportunity for some shenanigans, Billy and Chris decide to take Paul along for a lightning round of asking people, “for a dollar, who would you have sex with: Chris Evans or Paul Rudd?”

Look, it’s a big question and one we should dedicate a lot of time pondering because choosing between Chris Evans and Paul Rudd is one of the most difficult hypotheticals ever devised.

On one hand, you have a hunky chap whose charm and surprising intelligence is matched by his Captain America physique and ability to rock a full beard.

But on the other hand, you have an immortal vampire who never ages and is capable of keeping you entertained from now until the end of time (or your life) with his comedic chops. You will have to deal with the fact that he’s married and has two kids but that’s easily swept under the rug.

So what’s it going to be (for a dollar): Chris Evans or Paul Rudd?

If it was a game of “bone, marry or kill”, I’d bone Chris, marry Paul, and kill Chris Pratt because I needed a third name and Pratt is the worst.

But since that isn’t the question, here’s my answer because I’m a cop out and it’s the only one that makes sense:

You're Not Paranoid, Nearly Every Internet User Is Currently Being Watched

Time to burn everything and get off the grid.

It’s been a bit of a long running gag among internet users that everything you do online and on social media is being monitored by some creepy, Orwellian program inappropriately wielded by our government. It’s a terrifying thought but one we brush off because, well, that’s just insane.

But is it?

According to a report from “independent watchdog organisation” Freedom House, titled ‘2019 Freedom on the Net‘, apparently 40 of 65 countries it studied has implemented some form of “advanced social media surveillance programs” and their use is accelerating at an alarming rate.

Everywhere.

But perhaps the most terrifying finding in the report is the number of internet users currently being monitored right now as we speak. Of the billions of internet users around the world, “89 percent” or “nearly 3 billion” people fall under some 1984-esque surveillance program.

Yes, you should be terrified because that means anything you post or tweet on social media is likely being monitored by your government.

Freedom House’s report covered more than just governments watching your internet habits and most of it doesn’t bode well for this whole freedom thing.

The report states that digital election interference is a very serious issue happening right now, particularly in authoritarian countries that like wielding a big censorship hammer, such as Russia and China. The U.S. in particular has been highlighted as a country that’s seen its “freedom score” drop dramatically ever since Combover Caligula became the U.S. Cheeto-in-Chief.

And you’d be correct!

Not only do the methods employed to monitor internet users sound like something ripped out of a sci-fi movie – Iran as a 42,000-strong army of volunteers who monitor online speech, China has a similar system and a surveillance program that monitors over 200 million people – what governments are doing with all this data collected is downright spine-chilling.

The report states that 47 of the 65 countries studied “featured arrests of users for political, social, or religious speech” and even supposed “free” countries like the UK and U.S. monitored activists and those folks who opposed each respective government’s policies.

So all those jokes about being watched? Yeah, your suspicions were mostly correct after all.

There’s a silver lining to all of this though: Australia is faring pretty well on most fronts when it comes to freedom of speech and the whole surveillance thing as there’s no monitoring system of any sort in our country, but there are worrying signs that things could go awry if we don’t stay vigilant.

The entire report is a lengthy 29 pages and will likely send you into a bit of a funk, but it is a must-read in order to understand what is going on with internet surveillance right now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go burn every electronic device I own before getting off the grid.

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