Fosters: Australian for Attacking Autistics

3 Sep

It’s amazing how this web 2.0 stuff brings people from all over the world together. It seems as though I have gravitated toward Australian Youtube video bloggers as of late. One of them is AustDingo, who often posts things about autism. He has two kids on the spectrum plus he has his own diagnosis. But I ended up subscribing because of his off-the-wall humor and characters. Even from half a world away I identify with a lot of what he goes through as a father and just getting on with his life.

Recently, he got into hot water with his employer for making videos on YouTube as well as him talking about his own Autism. For some odd reason, this company seemed to think that they owned him AND his autism or something. He tried to comply with their wishes by removing any offending videos but they still sacked him. You can get the story in the links below. Also, these are nsfs (not safe for school). Apparently Australians have a great love for certain descriptive four-lettered invectives:

The Fat Australian: gives a good (but very salty) overview of the situation

Austdingo 1: In his own words

Austdingo 2: where he talks about how the company claims to sort of “own” his autism
This wrong on so many levels. First, there’s the whole sacking of someone for their own exercising of free speech. I have no idea what sort of “Bill of Rights” australians have, but always figured they had s love of liberty at least as much as Americans. They certainly seem to like to express themselves in colorful ways. And then, there’s the claim that they were offended because he wore shirts with the company logo. I never noticed at all. Beer does feature in his videos but he’s rarely made that big of a deal about it aside from drinking it, which is another hallmark of many Aussie videos. It’s singularly odd that they would go off for these infractions that seem fairly minor.

Whatever their publicity problems caused by Austdingo’s videos, they now have a much bigger disaster in the making if this thing goes viral. And it does have some elements going for it:

– It’s a beer company that is well-known

– The autism angle is very popular nowadays

– It’s a direct assault on free speech and disabilities at the same time.

Austdingo is not a big player in the Youtube world (a fact he pokes fun at all the time) but that makes the “little guy vs big callous corporate entity” all the more appealing. This is the first time I’ve heard of someone getting “dooced” for Youtube videos although I’m sure it must have happened many times before. Still, I think getting fired for posting Youtube videos should be called “getting dingo’d.” It just has a nice ring to it.

One confusing and vexing aspect was when dfer (D fer Dingo) explained how one of the reasons they gave was his use of a letter he had from a psychiatrist describing his diagnosis of autism.  Apparently they went after him because they claimed some sort of rights to that letter, thus sort of trademarking his autism!  That is just crazy.

My heart and support goes out to Dfer, Tfer, Mfer and Trav who have had their fair share of struggles even without this. They are a lovely family and you can go by and give Austdingo your support by just leaving a nice comment on one of his videos.

And shame on Fosters.  What they did is neither Australian or American.

D.

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