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21st of July 2018

Australia News



‘Way too far’: Controversial group slammed

PEOPLE with disabilities, amputees and bashed cyclists are being savagely ridiculed in an Aussie men’s banter group with more than 180,000 members.

Now, some of the controversial Facebook group’s members say comments on the page have gone too far after people with Down syndrome were slammed as “freaks” in a vile thread.

Aussie Man Cave has more than 500 member requests a day. One of the administrators told news.com.au that almost anything goes on the page and its members are merely using their right to free speech.

A spat between members began earlier this week when a video of people with disabilities dating was uploaded with the caption “At home with Mr and Mrs Potato”.

Some members attacked the video’s poster and the no-holds-barred comments which quickly began to stack up under the controversial post — saying those ridiculing the couple had “no morals” and they were “taking it too far”.

The page also includes posts where violence towards cyclists and “lefties” is condoned and laughed at.

Chris* of Bankstown generally loves the freedom of the group, but feels these type of attacks went “way too far” and that a “sick minority” is bringing the page down.

He joined the closed group after his mates showed him a few funny videos on the page of drunken people falling over.

“It’s pretty funny stuff and there’s always something being uploaded,” he said. “I knew there was going to be some offensive stuff on there, but I think people just whinge about anything these days so I didn’t really care.”

However, there were a few posts among the lewd pictures of women, memes mocking the Greens and videos of Aussie blokes doing stupid things, that caught his eye for all the wrong reasons.

“The right-wing stuff is fair game, but there is a sick minority of people ruining it by just taking it way too far with videos taking the p*ss out of disabled people, amputees and overweight kids,” he said. “They just have no respect for others.”

The member who posted the video mocking the couple with Down syndrome has since been removed from the group, but he had one last message for his haters.

“For all the sooks, snowflakes and whinging little b**ches plaguing Man Cave now, this ones for you!!!” he posted before sharing one last video of an expletive-laden parody song.

Several other videos have also caused a spat between members of the controversial page in recent days.

One post features a video of an elderly man being viciously pushed off his pushbike by man in a passing car.

The bloke who posted it said the attacker should be the prime minister of Australia and dozens of others chipped in celebrating the attack.

“If this video doesn’t prove normal people’s dislike for Lycra glad (sic) road toads nothing will!!!” one commenter wrote. “Start abiding by the road rules or f**k off into a bush!!!!! Lol.”

However, not everybody condoned the video.

“If it was your family member, child etc you’d be trying to find the guy to bash the s**t out of him. Idiots,” wrote one commenter.

“This guy could have seriously been hurt,” wrote another. “He could have kids waiting at home or could be the main carer in his household and if he is seriously injured because someone thinks this s**t is funny.”

Another contentious post earlier this week showed far-right protesters in Portland, Oregon, launching a savage assault on demonstrators from the Left-wing anti-fascist group Antifa.

“Likes” and laughing face emojis came flooding in and the comments thread began to fill up with remarks such as “look them lefties get hooked haha classic”.

Jye*, an administrator for Aussie Man Cave, said the group started out as a “casual meeting point where people can come in and rant, rave, complain or talk about something good”.

He said the video of a couple with Down syndrome had been taken down, but those posting offensive comments calling them “freaks” were not removed from the group.

“Part of free speech is the right to voice your say over something offending you,” he said.

However, he said the three administrators of Man Cave did “have to draw a line somewhere”.

“Nudity is deleted instantly and repeat offenders are banned on the spot,” he said. “This is a Facebook rule, not ours, but we have to enforce it if we want the group to keep existing.

“Anything with cruelty to animals is taken down instantly and usually the original poster is banned.

“Outside of that, we do remove hideously offensive or cruel videos, but as it’s run as a team these are generally things that need to be done as a group decision, particularly if I’m offline. Unfortunately these group decisions do take a while.

“I’ve seen some horrific videos in there, and I’m quite proud of the fact I’ve taken them down instantly. Again I’m not against free speech, but I’m not a fan of harm or cruelty.”

However, he was concerned about some of the things that were posted.

“I don’t agree with them at all but I don’t feel I should delete posts based on my personal feelings, outside of the obvious boundary-pushing posts,” he said.

“Man Cave is for everyone, but people need to understand somebody might post something that they don’t like and, if it isn’t awful, it’ll likely stay.

“People are significantly more outspoken behind a keyboard; this is just a part of social media.”

And, just in case you were wondering, women are allowed to join the group.

“Chicks are welcome but only if they are cool as f*** and respect that this is a blokes group with blokey topics and banter,” the group’s rules read. “Annoying sooky drama queens are booted immediately.”

* Surname has been omitted at interviewee’s request

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