Traffic sign hacked by offensive, dirty pun
A dirty pun displayed on a hacked lit-up traffic sign delighted or horrified earlymorning commuters in Beach Haven on Tuesday.
The two-part message was a religious slur, involving the description of a sexual act, and sharing it has landed a Hamilton City councillor in hot water.
North Shore ward councillor Richard Hills alerted Auckland Transport to the hack via Twitter at 7.50am on November 21.
Hills, who dubbed it ‘‘Signgate’’ said, although some saw it as a bit of fun, it was clearly not an appropriate message for people to read on their way to work or school.
‘‘I’ve spoken to Auckland Transport and they’ve talked to the contractor and they’re investigating how it happened and how to prevent similar colourful messages from appearing again.’’
Auckland Transport’s Mark Hannan said the sign was turned away from traffic within 15 minutes of the council agency being alerted. This sign is controlled by the contractor who is investigating how it happened and pass-codes to the sign are being changed, he said.
‘‘Auckland Transport apologises for any offence, this is totally unacceptable.’’
Hamilton councillor Mark Bunting, who sent the sign as ‘‘joke’’ to a freelance journalist, playing on her surname, faces a disciplinary hearing on Friday.
The woman who received the message, Hamilton-based freelance journalist Angela Cuming, said the message showed a ‘‘terrible lack of judgement’’.
Bunting said, in a Twitter post on Tuesday evening, that he sent the message privately ‘‘to someone whom I thought was a mate’’ and felt terrible.
A video of the sign was also shared by Matt Painting on the Beach Haven and Birkdale Community Facebook page. The video, which displayed both parts of the message, got 558 likes, 321 shares and hundreds of comments before an administrator turned off commenting.
The incident caught the attention of George FM, Hauraki, NewsHub, an Australia MTV site and was shared on Sh** Towns of New Zealand’s Facebook page.
While most of the comment thread on Painting’s video saw a funny side to the hack, many acknowledged it was inappropriate and insensitive, particularly for Christian people and young children on their way to school.
A hacker managed to change the message of a lit-up road sign to an offensive one, in Beach Haven.