I replied to a post on Jezebel regarding the ‘outing’ of Amanda Todd’s alleged blackmailer:The only problem is… what if it isn’t him? What if he’s just some guy getting caught in the crossfire who never did anything to her, and now he has vigilantes threatening to kill him?
I’m not personally okay with vigilante violence/action. I’d be okay with outing people like this if we were absolutely certain, but we’re not. Unless there’s a police investigation, we can’t be certain, and I kind of wonder if this will interfere or bias the police. Perhaps they had another suspect but stop pursing them in favour of this man, and the real perpetrator is let free.
I just think it’s very important, when talking about exposing people online, that we be very careful we don’t get so caught up in outing someone that it no longer matters who we out. It’s easy to ruin an innocent person’s life, too.
The RCMP went on to say that the outing of that man was hurting their case, that there was a lot of wrong information being attributed to the man, and that they had put in information of three people sharing the same name.
Anonymous was also wrong.
That is dangerous.
I am all for there being some type of community response against men that put photos up of their ex girlfriends, or of friends, or of strangers on the street. It’s not right. It punishes and shames women. It could hurt their career or their relationships with family, friends, and partners. Even if it doesn’t, it’s disgusting behaviour and minimizes a woman’s control over her own body and images. The way men treat women in these communities is pure objectification, which is a word I do not use lightly.
Women are objects for them to belittle and control, who deserve punishment for assumed slights or transgressions either they personally did, or for something another woman did. They are angry at women, and try to use their sexuality and their bodies against them.
I absolutely support there being a punishment for this behaviour, that websites should continue to crack down on it and consider it to be harassment.
I also absolutely believe that any proof leading to the identity of these individuals should be given to the police.
Police aren’t perfect, and it’s a solution I don’t really like either. They are sometimes under trained, and always under funded. There are plenty of police that have issues with women, and who wouldn’t view this as a crime. Who belittle victims of rape and sexual assault and harassment and blackmail. Who don’t understand the Internet or new technology and how to do research into social media outlets. A lot of people have issues with the police for these reasons and more, and I can sympathize.
There should be a better solution, but trusting hackers – hackers with an agenda, hackers that started out on 4chan – which still doesn’t punish posters of creepshot style photos – really isn’t an alternative solution.