A recent tweet made by the verified Ontario Provincial Police account has called into question the police force’s understanding of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, according to some observers.
According to the OPP, internet users should ask themselves the following questions, using the acronym T.H.I.N.K., before sending photos or messages, or posting anything online. Is it true? Is it hurtful? Is it illegal? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
Answering “yes” to three of these questions, except for “Is it hurtful?” and “Is it illegal?” which, presumably, the OPP would prefer to see answered with “no,” means that users are safe to click “send” or “publish” and jet their communique safely off into cyberspace.
— Ontario Prov Police (@OPP_News) February 10, 2016
However, one might wonder what the OPP might think when an investor who had been sold shares in a penny stock like Kerr Mines Inc. (formerly Armistice Resources) (TSE: KER) and listened to reports from former CEO and Town of Kirkland Lake Councillor, Todd Morgan, stating, “The gold was always there. We all believed in it a long time ago,” and subsequent reports about the mine entering production, as reported by The Inquisitr.
It certainly wasn’t very kind of Mr. Morgan, when the price of Kerr shares slid 99.9 percent, to resign from his position with Kerr, for the company to sell the mine that was supposedly going into production for a pittance, and to never address what happened or ever breathe a word about it again. Almost like it never happened at all.
The OPP’s recent tweet with regard to internet communication standards leaves open the question, “If an investor took to a stock forum, or started a website, explaining how they felt ripped-off by Todd Morgan and Kerr Mines, have they, in the eyes of the OPP, done something wrong?”
This example can be taken a step further. Now that we know that Kerr Mines was a flop, we can safely assume that Todd Morgan either tried and failed to start a mine, or else his involvement was a complete fraud.
If it was a fraud, imagine that someone close to Mr. Morgan suddenly suffered an untimely death, right around the time he first became involved with Kerr, or during subsequent stock offerings. It would seem that almost any police officer would agree that untimely, death plus financial motive equals suspicion.
Does the OPP seriously want to shut down the efforts of the armies of people successfully solving crimes from organizations like WebSleuths? It’s pretty hard to discuss suspicious deaths or other unsolved crimes without being unkind to at least some, often deserving, people. Some might see this as the price of living in a free and democratic society.
Perhaps the OPP feels that only police forces should be investigating crime?
Sierra Rayne with American Thinker questioned the legality of the OPP tweet in itself, pointing out that the force has “intentionally or maliciously misrepresented the state of the law” and suggested that those responsible be “prosecuted.”
“And what is illegal is for the police force anywhere in Canada to intentionally or negligently misrepresent the state of the law to the public. That is exactly what the OPP did with this poster that was sent out via the force’s official Twitter feed, which attached a professionally made poster that includes the official OPP logo. It’s a classic case of bringing the administration of justice into disrepute if there ever was one.”
A former alleged pyramid scheme, Business in Motion, was reported to have lured in thousands of Canadians with billboard advertisements across the country and meetings guarded by uniformed police officers, as reported by Crime Busters Now.
One could understand how a Canadian citizen, upon attending one of this company’s meetings reportedly guarded by police officers, and subsequently losing their hard-earned money, might be a little more comfortable posting a report online before making a report to the police that they had been scammed.
And this brings to light the conflict with the OPP’s philosophy with regard to T.H.I.N.K-ing before posting online and the OPP’s philosophy about being pressured to keep a scam secret — one of the hallmarks of scam artists.
— OPP East (@OPP_ER) March 7, 2016
On the one hand, the OPP feels that citizens should only be posting “kind” things online. However, to a victim of a scam, especially one involving police officers, such as the BIM case presented above, the OPP advice sounds suspiciously like advising victims of fraud to keep their mouths shut if they know what’s good for them.
And what about victims of abuse and victims of other crimes? Should they be worried about being “kind” when discussing their lives online? Should they be concerned with hurting the perpetrators’ feelings? What about political discussions? Is it possible to keep all politics kind? Should all debate whatsoever be banned in Canada, lest someone’s feelings get hurt?
[Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images]