Exposure pages/groups: Legit or is it harassment?

In the field of journalism, regardless of the sort of platform you operate, you can expect that somebody will, at one point, challenge your information. Earlier tonight, a page calling themselves, the “Victim’s Rights Advocacy Group,” had made a video to which they target a few individuals. However, within the video, they make a claim that was found to be questionable. Doing what we do, one of our admins challenged the claim. The claim was against the girlfriend of journalist, Meko Haze, Paige Adrian Chapman. Though the accusation, in itself wasn’t much, it accused her of being a “traitor.” At this point, our admin asked to see the evidence.

“There are many sources of information that can be easily looked up. You can do your own homework and catch up. But if you insist we would be more than happy to do a “Traitors Caught Red-Handed” video.”

The above is a portion of the reply given to our admin upon challenging the claim against Meko’s girlfriend, Paige. If so much “information” exists, as the administrator claims, than why was it so difficult to simply provide the said “information?” In normal circumstances, it isn’t. However, it is much harder to produce information that doesn’t exist than it is to provide something that does. With this response, the agenda of this specific page became clear. At the end of the statement, the admin makes mention of creating another “video.” It is presumed, based on the overall context, that they would, in some way, include either our admin or the overall platform. We will use this time to make the following statement:

“You may create any video you wish, your 253 followers may enjoy it. However, if you wish to include War on Corruption, please bear in mind, that we are a much larger platform, on multiple sites. If you do create a video, by all means, let’s see some of this alleged evidence you were so unwilling to provide.”

A key point to know is if a platform is posting factual information, providing documentation isn’t a problem. At this point, however, the group’s owner, became aggressive, and proceeded to ban the individual prior to deleting comments. While that may not seem like a “big deal,” it actually sheds a lot of doubt into the credibility of her page. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this sort of irrational behavior. Another group, “Un-blessed BIG Liars, Frauds, and Fakes” has displayed similar behaviors. But are groups like this actually legal?

Legal Issues?

Exposing an individual for malicious, illegal, or unethical deeds is one thing. However, looking into these groups, they go well beyond simply exposing an individual’s wrongful deeds; in fact, they borderline harass whoever they are after. So who makes this list? From what we can tell, it’s anybody who simply pisses the page owners off. While we have exposed some of the nonsense from Jamie, Fran, David, etc. we have always left it to specific situations. Beyond those situations, we have made a point of not hammering them. The pages in question, however, make a point of constantly harassing individuals they target, this is where the harassment aspect begins to form.

According to the dictionary, harassment is defined as,aggressive pressure or intimidation.” According to pacer.org, cyber harassment can include:

  1. electronic forms of contact
  2. an aggressive act
  3. intent
  4. repetition
  5. harm to the target

Over the years, I have seen many pages like this. They have three things in common.

  1. They rack up a few followers.
  2. They begin targeting individuals, groups, or pages.
  3. And finally, they seem to eventually phase out.

While we aren’t fond of some of the people mentioned on pages such as this, we are even less fond of blatently harassing, stalking, and bullying an individual. At some point, one must pull the ethics card. For groups like this, we have decided to do that very thing. We have seen personal information such as home addresses blasted into groups like this, what exactly is that exposing? If anything, information such as this can potentially place somebody into a dangerous situation; this is not “exposure.” This is outright digital stalking, and WoC is standing up against this behavior.

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