The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week ordered Canberra newsreader Beth Rep to pay $10,000 compensation to transgender activist Bridget Clinch. The order resulted from Rep ‘liking’ offensive Facebook comments on an apology she previously made to Bridget Clinch.
Former Army captain Bridget Clinch complained to the tribunal about comments Rep made about her following International Women’s Day in 2018.
Subsequent to Bridget’s complaint, Rep made further comments on Twitter which resulted in her banning from that platform.
After mediation, Rep paid Bridget Clinch $700 and posted a public apology to Facebook.
Bridget Clinch posted on Twitter this week that the verbal apology, which she accepted as sincere, satisfied her.
You know TERFs are bad when, you successfully conciliate more than one vilification complaint against men, who said equally disgusting things, I remember the sincerity of the first verbal apology at mediation, and immediately telling the mediator that was all I was after,
— Bridget Clinch (@CaptainBridget) September 11, 2020
However, after Beth Rep posted her apology to Facebook, the post attracted over 300 comments, many of them offensive. Rep then ‘liked’ some of those comments.
Bridget Clinch returned to the tribunal, alleging vilification because of her gender identity.
In her defence, Rep claimed she neither invited not participated in the vilification. She said her only participation was ‘liking’ the comments. She further claimed that ‘liking’ a comment did not indicate approval.
In its findings, the tribunal disagreed. It found that in addition to not deleting the offensive comments, Rep’s actions encouraged further posts.
The tribunal ordered Rep to pay Bridget Clinch $10,000 compensation. Further, it instructed her to remove ‘all posts, statements, information, suggestions or implications’ on the issue from her social media.
$14,100 has so far been donated to an online fundraiser Rep set up to help her fund her defence. While the fundraiser had an initial goal of $5,000, Rep increased that to $15,000 to cover the compensation payout.
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