Satire criminalised in South Australia- or a prank?
Wednesday March 03rd 2010, 5:28 am

South Australian humourist and adman David Thorne is a troll, but not your average, ordinary troll.

You may recall that Thorne is responsible for the cracking trolljob where he offered to pay a $233 utility bill with a drawing of a 7-legged spider. Naturally, payment with a bad drawing of a spider was not accepted, but the spider drawing did later attract a $15,000 bid on Ebay.

Thorne’s latest trollgag was a biting bit of satire where he mused that there was no money in his usual line of work in graphic design, therefore he was going to raise $5120 and use it to ‘buy drugs for resale,’ $5000 in capital and $120 for a nifty metal suitcase to carry the unspecified ‘drugs’ in.

This post claims to have attracted the ire of a ‘Michael Harding,’ purportedly of South Australia Police, who is represented as having demanded that Thorne withdraw the satirical post. Thorne then ‘led’ the alleged copper down the rosy garden path for 11 email exchanges. Thorne’s purported exchange with ‘Harding’ is reproduced here on mgk after being rescued as well as possible from Google Cache.

Thorne finally ‘acquiesced’ and in the ‘offending’ post, changed the word ‘drugs’ to ‘cats.’ Thorne’s post ‘Investment Opportunity’ is reproduced here on mgk for your amusement and viewing pleasure.

Despite Thorne ‘caving in’ to the ‘demand’ to alter his post, by this morning at 4:30am AEDT, Thorne’s website has been altered to give the appearance of having been suspended by his web hosting service.

Having been unable to confirm whether there’s actually a ‘Michael Harding’ on SA Police nor whether there’s actually an ‘E-Crimes Act 2006’ in South Australia, it remains possible that this is yet another one of Thorne’s gags… but it’s a good yarn, no matter how it’s told.


MOAR: This is simply another Thorne hoax; if the site were truly suspended, you wouldn’t be able to view this file.

EVEN MOAR: Thorne has corrected his failure to delete/rename the directory that permitted the above linked file to be displayed, which gave the game away. Sorry, David, we know the site’s not suspended- busted.

7 Comments so far
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He was asked to take it down. So it could just be that..

Comment by arthur 03.03.10 @ 8:54 am

Arthur, I think you’ll find that the South Australia Police do not have an officer by the name of ‘Michael Harding’ and there is no such thing as the ‘E-Crime Act of 2006’ in SA. The demand to remove the blog post was fabricated as was the rest of the email exchange. Further, the account was never suspended. Thorne engineered that fraud, too.

Moreover, no state level police officer has jurisdiction over residents located in other states; Thorne lives in Geraldton, WA. If indeed Thorne had been given an instruction by SA Police, he would have been well within his rights to ignore that direction.

It was all a hoax, plain and simple.

Comment by weez 03.03.10 @ 9:27 am

Your assumption is flawed in many respects. Firstly, it is not a hoax, the site has been suspended. Secondly, I live in Adelaide, not in Geraldton. Thirdly, I always change the name of the person in the emails. It is indeed plain and simple. Nong.

Comment by David Thorne 03.03.10 @ 9:42 am

Weez, are you sure David lives in WA? Why would anyone believe your speculation about the hoax if you don’t even have your facts straight?

Comment by Brian 03.03.10 @ 10:25 am

Trace Route shows that the site is hosted in the USA. So SA police would have no power to shut it down.

Also interestingly if you add the end of the url to other sites on the same server you get the same suspended page. eg.

Wouldn’t be too hard to modify the .htaccess file to redirect to the suspendedpage.

Comment by John 03.03.10 @ 10:32 am

@David: When the site was supposedly suspended, the file was still available. If a site is actually suspended, nothing will be available. Within 5 minutes of you seeing my tweet about it, you covered your error.

@Brian: You’re right, I can’t confirm Thorne’s residency, but I got the rest of it right.

@John: The site’s server is in the USA but hosted though an Australian webhost. Regardless, it’s not suspended. We’ve been hoaxed by Thorne again.

Comment by weez 03.03.10 @ 11:07 am

Site is back up and post on twitter

27bslash6: A few secret handshakes and a sexy dance and 27b/6 is live again:

Comment by John 03.03.10 @ 1:21 pm

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