Reflections on a disturbing story in the Herald on Sunday
UPDATE: A number of readers asked if police are investigating the bullying, exploitive video Brian discusses below.
Waitematä Police District communications manager Beth Bates told NBR ONLINE (the bolding is mine):
While Waitemata Police have not received a complaint regarding this incident, or further information on which to make an assessment, we take all complaints seriously and follow these up through the appropriate process.
All complaints are subject to assessment on a case by case basis before deciding next steps, which will always be dependent on the circumstances.
Police appreciate that any form of cyber bullying can be unpleasant and distressing, and do not condone such behaviour. However, cyber bullying is not currently defined in law and the potential for Police to become involved will always be dependent on the particular circumstances of each case. What might be taken as bullying and considered upsetting by some people may not necessarily be an offence in law.
You may be aware that the Government is currently looking at strengthening the legislation in this area. Police support this move.
While we wait for the law to be updated, my best advice to people affected by exploitive or bullying content to contact the part-governent and police funded NetSafe.org.nz - which can often make contact with the likes of Facebook and YouTube where a member of the public would have no hope.
- Chris Keall
First read this story from yesterday's Herald on Sunday:
So how might we categorise Borjan Dzarliev, his mate‘Charlie’, the anonymous third party who filmed this outrage and their thousands of on-line accomplices? Well, you might take your pick from: Abusers, Bullies, Misogynists, Sadists, Pornographers, Psychopaths, Cowards…
I was particularly interested in the personality of Borjan Dzarliev, ‘a student from Browns Bay’, who, the Herald on Sunday reports: ‘… in the video throws in her face a dress he claims she left at his house, then launches a foul-mouthed verbal attack’. ‘Coward’ seems to fit him to a T. It’s two on one, after all. Two men, one woman. And a cameraman or woman to record the fun. Rapists in all but the precise technical meaning of the word.
And when he’s asked if he regrets the video, Borjan Dzarliev says he’s talked to his victim and hopes they’re ‘on better terms’. It’s hard to reconcile the barbarity of his earlier actions with a term which seems to suggest some previous minor tiff. ‘Better terms’ than what?
And then, to add insult to injury, a hint of resentment or perhaps even self pity: ‘This has gone too far. I really don’t want to say any more.’ Which seems to beg the question: ‘At what precise point, Borjan, are you saying it went too far? When you effectively abducted Courtney Drake? When you launched into your foul-mouthed attack on her? When you were videotaping her terror? When you posted her humiliation on You Tube? Or only when your own name and actions were about to be exposed in the media?’ I suspect it’s the last of these.
Well, my interest in Borjan Dzarliev led me to look for him on Facebook on the morining the story was published. And there he was, under his own name, with photographs of himself and his many Facebook friends.
In the early afternoon, I thought I might write this post. So I went back to Facebook, typed his name again in the ‘Search’ box and found myself back on the identical site. But by now ‘Borjan Dzarliev’ had become ‘Borjan Alexander’. And if you type in Borjan Dzarliev on Facebook now, this is what you’ll find:
Seems that Borjan couldn’t stand the heat. The same Borjan of whose actions Sean Lyon, the chief technology officer at NetSafe, had said: ‘It is excruciating. It is horrible abuse caught on camera and the girl looks very scared. It is awful in the extreme and the whole thing was clearly filmed by a third individual, which makes it all the more disturbing.’
But the most disturbing thing to me in the Herald’s report is Dzarliev’s comment that he hoped he and Courtney were ‘on better terms’. My advice to Ms Drake would be: Before you have anything more to do with Borjan Dzarliev or your former boyfriend ‘Charlie’ have a serious chat with Women’s Refuge. It could save your life.’
Medi trainer and commentator Dr Brian Edwards posts at Brian Edwards Media.