An Australian politician has been forced to publicly apologise after clicking ‘like’ on a Facebook photo of a teenager exposing his genitals.
Peter Collier, Western Australia’s Minister for Education had clicked the ‘like’ button on what he thought was an innocent picture of a 16-year-old boy in 2011. The picture was actually part of a prank known as ‘sneaky nuts’, in which people subtly expose their genitals when posing for photographs.
Collier apologised on Thursday, stating that he was completely unaware that the teenager, who was otherwise fully clothed and stood next to another man, had exposed himself.
He said that the incident “highlighted the pitfalls of social media”.
In a statement he said: “It was a silly mistake on my part. I only became aware of the actual content of the photo when shown by a journalist.
“I apologise if I caused any offence.”
The stunt was popularised by Australian comedian Chris Lilley on ABC TV show Angry Boys, where a character enjoys ruining group photos by subtly exposing himself. It has already posed problems for schools after a yearbook printed 1,300 times contained a photo of a student exposing his genitals. Administrators at the Catholic school in Canada where the year book was printed resorted to placing stickers over the photo.
The incident had not attracted attention until last month when the teenager in question spoke on Twitter about duping Collier.