Case Studies & Client Review

Case reviews have been completed whenever we undertake a request or inquiry from a client, customer or generally any other question we have faced and have not easily seemed to be able to find a solution that we are willing to accept as the "only truth" or outcome that society should be willing to continue adopting in our opinion... 

Case Studies have also been completed on a number of occasions, however many of these we are not able to make public for the security and best interests of the parties involved. Increasingly however we are finding organisations and community groups willing to let us capture and share their lessons and experiences in life, which are commonly found to be best learnt from our mistakes, in the hopes that this could potentially help others struggling in their own. 

Social Media in the school yard: unauthorised access, transfer & publication of explicit pictures of a minor online

posted Mar 12, 2011, 4:22 AM by Jess Maher   [ updated Mar 13, 2011, 8:23 AM ]

We have managed the successful removal of explicit pictures of a minor posted on which had been brought to our attention earlier this week by the individual depicted in photos. Now we continue to explore & review the more specific particulars of this case in our attempts to assist this teenager & family. The outline & description of the context and issue as it was initially understood & discussed can be gained from the earlier post, Explicit & Incriminating Content you post may make its short way online publicly.. (Jess Maher, 2011).

When these kids came for our help and assistance I could both empathize and sympathize for not only for these guys I was speaking to, but really, more broadly, for any teenager in today's society. Having to survive the age old trials & tribulations of high school years which we can all remember from our own lives, but then on top of that to add the the ongoing technological developments that continue to bring the virtual realm almost intrusively into our day to day lives, not to mention the potential for lifelong repercussions from something casually share between hormonal adolescents due to the very nature of the medium. While the many notes I can remember us all passing around the classroom on ripped up bits of paper have largely long since been discarded and forgotten, so much of these teenagers lives, relationships & interactions today could very realistically be dugg right on out again many many years later and come back to bite them. 

That clique school room note passing classic, the one with that moment of dread which came along with being the one snapped out passing it and having to walk up the front to hand it over to the teacher whom would read it out loud to the rest of the class... well that just takes on a whole new form now I guess... While on so many levels its all the same really from any older individuals memories of school & all the stories and tales of ones "formative years", on the other hand it is realistically a whole new ball game... Some insight on this particular topic and case from the perspective of these kids can be further found online... This was one of our favorites...

After being informed of this ourselves, we initially and immediately sent an email to support requesting the immediate removal of the content in question. Using the Child Alert Website, supported & suggested by the Department of Internal Affairs, the URL was lodged with 

Since the removal of these images from we now continue to explore avenues to ensure the individual responsible will be held accountable and attempts can be made to try and ensure these photos will not again resurface. As our societies, economies & laws continue to adapt to these changes, the rate at which the traditional systems are managing to evolve & fit issue resolutions to these ongoing changes will never be fast enough to keep up with the continuing developments. In this particular case, the images were removed by in somewhat commendable fashion on their behalf, given their standardized processes and the limited interest or concern for liability these websites & laws governing them seem to have come to agree is expected of them legally at least. Given that in the Terms of Service, has 72hrs to respond to any reports or complaints of this nature, it is impressive that within that timeframe in this case the photos where not only posted, discovered and reported but also then removed from this service. 

This kind of issue in the "classroom" has seen significant attention already... There are numerous sources of information on such issues historically and various approaches & processes adopted in each, often with the best of intentions, and often with very different levels of effectiveness & varying degrees of sucess. 

The Government and largely legal responsibility for this kind of thing appears to be Net

As legal amendments continue to be made, the NZ Government widely tends to encourage & welcome submissions & insight from members of the community... InternetNZ, whom for these purposes operate in a collective with the a large number of the big ISPs in New Zealand making them an important and influential player in these changes ( 

Internationally, there are a number of organisations & groups who explore and understand these uncharted legal disputes such as the EFF, who have collaborated to create an incredibly useful resource in such cases, Chilling Effects.  Alongside the value of this site enabling you to use the automated system they have developed to create a report, but the links and insight found here has much further broader provide insights.$file/DCESF-PublicInformationPack.pdf 

From the perspective of the education departments and more broadly the school system, there is obviously some legal obligation on behalf of the school to ensure the saftey and well being of thier students and also ensure they are acting in acordance of the parents wishes.

Principals being charge with offence when trying to solve such contentious issues appears to be the line for some in this arena..

Recommended Reading on this topic would include:

Sexting: Youth Practices and Legal Implications

When considering the perspective of the parents of this individual, the following links might provide some support & understanding for anyone responsible for ensuring the well being of a minor (namely, parents & caregivers...


Getting Fired Cause of Facebook: Employment Dispute resulting from posting comment "big news" for Burger King NZ

posted Mar 12, 2011, 3:36 AM by Jess Maher   [ updated Mar 15, 2011, 10:05 PM ]

Review of our involvement and lessons from this case are still to come: relates to the highly publicized employment dispute between Burger King NZ and Julie Tyler & Unite Union touched on the topic of "getting fired cause of Facebook".  

Don't we realise our lives are now "virtual realities''?

posted 8 Feb 2011 19:31 by Jess Maher   [ updated 9 Mar 2011 00:34 ]

Social Media has become largely accepted to be in some ways integrated our daily lives on the one hand, but then on the other- a seperation or distinction between the two still largely appears to exsist in some strikingly obvious ways... 

The very recent Employment Relations drama to hit the traditional media streams also with the help of Unite Union was that involving a Dunedin Burger King employee, Juile Tyler. This kind of issue is not something that just appeared overnight. 

In face, we at least, have been anticipating and expecting to occur for sometime now to be honest..  
From the New Zealand Herald article, 

The company held a private disciplinary meeting yesterday over the message posted by Julie Tyler, 27, which was brought to her manager's attention by another employee. At the meeting her employers decided that rather than being sacked, she would be given a second final warning.  

Ms Tyler was already on her final warning after receiving two previous complaints, including one for telling an abusive customer, "Like you need it".  Ms Tyler told the Otago Daily Times she was relieved to keep her job and stood by her comments saying it was about "freedom of speech". 

Unite national director Mike Treen said the matter was an important public policy matter.  "Young workers communicate via Facebook today as others in the past exchanged words about their jobs socially over a drink. In any case the comment is innocuous and simply repeats what every New Zealanders know about fast-food jobs," he said.

In this particular case, particularly with an industry that has such strong Union involvement, the debate revolves around the nature of what was said on Facebook, rather than the fact that it was an online medium that the comment was said in... 

NZ Herald from Feb 2010

A new survey of 520 New Zealand companies has found that 67 per cent have no policies in place to regulate staff use of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

It comes as a leading employer group says more businesses are having increasing problems with workers using social networking sites to badmouth their bosses.;objectid=10625739

And despite some seeming surprised or in some way appear to experience a sense of injustice it appears the majority of the mainstream media at least have publically recognized this integration and cross over since this time last year if not before.. 

Some valuable and wise advice could be found even before then, in 2009 this quote was published by the Guardian: 

"In fact, most of the problems have nothing to do with new media, but are simply because people tend to forget their manners online. As behaviour is very important in public and we all live public lives now, etiquette is making a comeback. Don't forget that these days camera phones and Twitterers are everywhere, so each of us can become a representative of our company wherever we go." 

In 2009, 84% of companies did not measure social media ROI: in 2011, that’s not an option. Business decisions are best made when they are based on hard numbers that measure success, and social media efforts are no longer an exception. (Erica Swallow)

Unite Union posted an article about this, Final written warning for Facebook comments outrageous,  which can be found here:

In another  case touched on whether workers have the right to criticize supervisors in internet forums. While there are plenty of reasons employees may want to keep their work gripes to themselves, the outcome seems to suggest employers, at least those in the US, may want to proceed with caution.

David Lowe, advisory services manager for the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), said the EMA was doing its own research around the legal technicalities of employees using social media.

Lowe said companies were increasingly approaching EMA with problems arising from employees using social media, such as workers making negative comments about their employers on their social networking pages.

"What we have been dealing with more recently is former employees who make their views known [online] as they depart under unhappy circumstances," he said.  The situation was more difficult when a former employee decided to make a social media attack on a former workplace, but Lowe said a simple phone call, and a request for the comment to be removed, could solve the situation.

"Before bringing in the lawyers ... before going too far, that can be the first step," he said.

Lowe said employees' use of social media had the ability to damage a firm's reputation, and was an area where the usual clauses in employment agreements and "house rules" sometimes did not apply.

"When [the employment agreements] were written social networking wasn't really thought of." But he said the loss of productivity from employees using social media was not a big issue.                        By Christopher Adams             

Articles and Blogs referenced in this post include: 

NZHerald    |    Harsh reality for employers when staff chuck their toys  |   By Deborah Coddington    

 5:30 AM Sunday Aug 29, 2010             |        

NZHerald       |      Facebook at work problems growing, say employers        |    By Christopher Adams                    
11:45 AM Friday Feb 12, 2010   |         

Employer settles with Facebooker who called boss 'dick': Social network = public forum     |         By Dan Goodin in San Francisco      |           Posted in Music and Media9th February 2011 04:00 GMT

Guardian      |          Help! My boss is on Twitter: three rules to avoid social media catastrophes    |  Posted by Mercedes BunzWednesday 11 November 2009 13.09 GMT            |

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