Twitter Is Not 9-1-1

  By VennerRoad, 20th May 2016

There is a disturbing trend of allegations of serious sex offences being made against innocent people on social media. And the even more disturbing trend of people believing them.

Airhead Laci Green

Since October 2014 when a so-called joke by a so-called comedian set off a media witch-hunt against veteran comedian Bill Cosby, there has been a sickening trend of demented females - and non-females - spewing rape allegations against both the famous and the not-so-famous. This sort of madness did not begin with Cosby, of course. In December 2013, an anonymous woman accused singer-songwriter Conor Oberst of raping her years before. Oberst did what was probably a wise thing, he instituted defamation proceedings, which led to a retraction, although one idiotic commenter claimed there was a power disparity here. Seriously?

Since the Cosby firestorm though, we have seen allegations against porn actor James Deen; allegations of drug-facilitated rape by the performer Kesha against her former producer Dr Luke; serious non-rape allegations against the (now former) Canadian radio presenter Jian Ghomeshi, and most recently, allegations against sundry YouTube vloggers, including Englishman and effeminate homosexual Craig Dillon, something that strains credibility.

This bizarre frenzy has led another YouTube vlogger to point out that Twitter is not 9-1-1, and yet another to satirise self-styled sex educator and feminist airhead Laci Green. You see, Miss Green is one of these people who believes survivors never lie. True, you could go on-line and accuse someone of rape, but would you? she asks. In response, the anti-feminist Thunderfoot pointed out that many YouTubers - trolls, idiots, people who had quaint senses of humour - have taken to posting comments to her videos claiming they too have been Laci Green! The lady has been deleting these comments, as one would expect. Does that mean she has something to hide? That she is trying desperately to silence survivors?

Amusing though this sort of nonsense may be, it raises serious issues. According to Green, nearly 60 women have now accused Cosby, yet people still don’t believe the survivors? One of these survivors is Chloe Goins, who has never even been in the same room as Cosby. Goins sold her false story for an undisclosed but undoubtedly substantial sum, but since a thorough investigation by law enforcement in the Golden State, not a peep has been heard from her. Her lies were given ample coverage by inter alia talk show host Dr Phil, but now these are proven lies, no one wants to know.

If Laci still hasn’t realised it, simply parroting something incessantly does not make it true. Let’s do a little math. YouTube has over a billion users, and Facebook has even more. Okay, there is massive overlap, but let’s call it a round billion: 1,000,000,000. That is almost one person in seven on this planet. Fantastic or what? Now a few questions for you, Laci:

Are all these people sane?
Are they all rational?
Are they all benign?

The mere fact that there are people posting inflammatory comments on your videos tends to indicate that some people have bad intentions towards you. And you are not a politician, a rock star, or even famous in the proper sense of the word.

We have laws for a reason, and when people break those laws, they end up in court. A court of law has rules of evidence and procedure. These rules are inadequate because innocent people are often locked up for years while guilty or even dangerous ones are set free to inflict damage on the rest of us. But inadequate though those rules may be, the court of law is vastly superior to the court of public opinion which has no rules and where anything goes. This doesn’t mean we can’t use social media and cyberspace generally to inform ourselves of what is going on in the world, including who is committing serious crimes like rape and murder, but social media is not a court of law. Anyone who is the victim of a serious crime should dial 9-1-1 in the United States; 9-9-9 in the UK; 1-1-1 in New Zealand; and the appropriate number in other countries. And as that famous Chinese proverb goes, if you believe everything you read, best not read.

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