Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rights of the Accused vs Rights of the Accuser

I have to admit, I am a bit torn on this one.  In the news is the Rolling Stone article about a gang rape as part of an initiation at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.  In the days following various news outlets dug into the details and now even Rolling Stone themselves is backing off of the story.  They issued this apology, but later retracted it due to pressure from Social Justice Warriors.  The current apology can be seen at the top of the original Rolling Stone article.  Below is the original apology.

Now who was hurt by this piece?  There are two groups.  The first of course is the fraternity and all of its members, despite the retraction from Rolling Stone, they now have a reputation for being rapists.  Although nobody was mentioned by name (only pseudonyms were used such as Drew), the entire fraternity will now be viewed with suspicion by any female who wants to be around one of their members.  

The second group that was hurt was the University itself.  It now has the unfounded reputation of protecting rapists and such a reputation can financially harm them as they may not get as many grants or endowments in the future.  Now can either of these two groups sue for libel?  I would refer you guys to this post by the Washington Post which answers that question.  

Now the accuser up until today was allowed to be unknown.  Today she was apparently doxxed.  I have mixed feelings about this.  For the record I will not be disclosing her identity in this blog nor will I link any source that does.  Just accept that the information is out there, I just won't be sharing it.  Make of that what you will.  Again I have mixed feelings about her identity being leaked out.  The first is the fear of rape victims and this might give them hesitation to come forward.  In an ideal world every rape victim would go strait to the hospital and have a rape kit done to preserve DNA evidence.  However, fear and shame often takes its toll and victims wait often far too long before reporting it and the DNA evidence is long gone.  

However, there is a part of me that is happy that the UVA rape accuser was doxxed.  Here is why.  She hurt real people.  Even though she didn't name anyone, it was actually worse that she didn't.  Rather than just 7 people being vilified, the entire fraternity and all of its membrers were hurt.  We live in a world where if you willfully set out to harm someone, they have a right to seek justice.  

Secondly she hurt actual victims.  Every single time one of these rape stories turns out to be false you have people making a big stink about it.  This translates into the real victims minds that their story won't be believed either.  That is unacceptable.

On the whole I am against doxxing.  I know what it is like.  I had my address blasted all over the internet last year.  I had stuff mailed to my neighbors, one person knocked on my door in the middle of the night.  It can be quite scary.  However, when you seek out to destroy someone else, don't be surprised when someone tries to destroy you.  

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