Don’t Blame Facebook: Review

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Tuesday 8 January,

10PM Channel 4

If you thought dating Peter Andre’s brother was punishment enough for almost any crime, you’d be right. But you’d be wrong if you thought that the two to three month community sentence you’d just served was all the criminal justice system had in store for you.

Although everything legally is above board, raiding Andre’s brother’s ex-girlfriend’s house at dawn under anti-harassment legislation and confiscating all of her personal electronics seems somewhat excessive given the facts. Whilst Peter Andre’s Bad Boyfriend Club has undoubtedly helped reduce incidents of domestic violence, it still remains unlikely that the local constabulary were so indebted to him that he gained sufficient sway to direct police operations – so what’s the real issue?

Of course, you’re screaming “Elf and Safetyâ€? and who wouldn’t? They’re the slapstick comedy double act filling up column inches in the Daily Mail who everyone is complaining about. Whilst their entertaining interventions have been providing middle aged men with dinner party titbits for years, long after their own lives became so mundane that a visit from Health and Safety would actually represent youthful validation.

It was all eventually settled, Andre’s brother was found out to have been dating some “bird from Babestationâ€? – of course he was – and the threats of a libel suit were dropped after a three month police investigation.

The other cases are well known from the press: tweets that turn out to have dramatically different interpretations with an American vocabulary, inadvertently public Facebook party invites and “there weren’t really much to do…and I’d got a new phone with a camera function.â€?

What this programme really shows us is that there are two very prominent types of idiot: the reckless and the naïve. Whilst they occasionally intersect, they are reasonably well-defined.

The naïve says things like: “[Airport security] told me that how I answered his questions would determine whether or not we were allowed in. Then he asked me if I had a Twitter account, and I thought ‘Oh no he’s going to want me to follow him.'”

Whereas the reckless says things like “Lining up here for a fucking good tonk [as he does 120mph]…Who says street racing’s irresponsible? Fucking show me ’em.â€?

Disappointingly, the well informed member of St John’s Ambulance who got us all up to speed on the legal specifics turned out to be an actual copper once the captions caught up with the dialogue.

Most of the idiots later talk about how they’ve learnt their lesson. Which might be true if they weren’t on television giving their exploits even greater coverage.