I’ve stated this maxim before and I’ll state it again: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And, indeed, it is. Regardless of how passionate one may feel about an unfair situation, criminal act, or social injustice having good intentions bolstered by mob mentality rarely accomplishes more than the shredding of facts and the ruining of any potential justice.
The assumption tends to be, by the masses, that good intention automatically leads to moral actions which influence change for the better. However, for all the good intent behind reckless protest and passion we should never underestimate the power of unintended negative consequences.
Case in point the Steubenville Ohio Rape case and the apparent involvement of what is assumed the non-ANONYMOUS faction #KnightSec which has inserted itself into an ongoing investigation without a plan. “We must do something!” they say at least in terms of behavior but what exactly? And do something, they have. They’ve created chaos, disharmony, risk of retraumatization for the victim, and have succeeded in making themselves look like clueless idiots to the thinking person and heroes to those who do not understand criminal process. In the meantime, the victim is potentially being re-injured by the prankster-trickster-hacktivist antics of emotional two year olds intent on creating a mess only to watch others clean it up. Shameful.
Saturday’s impending protest #2 in Steubenville has the potential to go horribly wrong but will anyone care? Probably not. As long as those who wish to bask in the limelight of national attention at the expense of the victim (whether intended or not) continue their sensational antics the risk that true legal justice may never be brought to this case becomes an increasing probability. Additionally, the continued use of the rape victim to their own advantage in terms of parading her attack around in public is in itself another form of rape: emotional rape. But who cares, right? Just as long as they spell your name correctly on whatever news show you happen to appear? That is the true potential fallout: the limelight seekers get their 15 minutes of fame and a few mentions by D-list actors. But the victim… who cares what all of this circus behavior does to her in the long term, right? Deplorable.
Vigilante narratives may seem romantic in theory but rarely play out well in reality. Unfortunately, this apparent wannabe faction, this #KnightSec of ANONYMOUS does not understand this concept which ultimately might be to the detriment of justice being served in the Steubenville Rape case. Some personalities are simply motivated by destruction and opposing established order. For evidence of this fact we need look no further than Oppositional Defiance Disorder in children and Conduct Disorder in teens which at its worst become Antisocial Personality Disorder in adulthood. To be certain, I am not suggesting that all participants and factions within the so-called ANONYMOUS movement are, in fact, suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder. However, the behavioral pathology bares striking similarities. I could assign all manner of terms to their behavior thus far; Passive-aggressive comes to mind, so does narcissistic.
As a group ANONYMOUS boasts that they are non-violent protesters of mainstream organization which begs the question, “why are they inserting themselves into politics and criminal investigations, both of which have the potential to turn violent as a result of lynch mob mentality?” It would appear that this ANONYMOUS wannabe faction known as #KnightSec is in grave danger of becoming what it appears to despise: power hungry bullies who leap before they look and always at the expense of others.
~Amy Lynn Burch
(and I am not ANONYMOUS)
The ego’s involved are shocking. Listening to this guy whine on the link above lessens his credibility. Does it really matter who has the first CNN interview? Which blogger has more info or a better background? Isn’t the ultimate goal of everyone to get attention focused on the crime that was committed and the subsequent lack of investigative effort by local authorities? Does anonymous have some not so mainstream methods? Absolutely, but they do no harm by bringing info to the public.
Rather than feeling threatened by the unique skill of anons who unearth “lost” evidence, think about the value they bring to an otherwise unknown case.
No, the ultimate goal is not to have the case paraded around in public and made a mockery within the public eye. The ultimate goal is to properly investigate the case, ensure that any potential evidence is NOT at risk for exclusion in terms of legal presentation, and to ensure that due diligence is performed in pursuit of achieving justice. Trying the case in the media does nothing to ensure that justice is achieved. Investigations take time, patience, and diligence. Mob mentality only muddies the process.
Without anon and Alexandra Goddard there would be NO investigation,
much less a proper investigation, so your idea of the “ultimate goal” sounds off balance. They shed light and brought to the forefront issues that were known, yet ignored. They were right and courageous to do so. Regarding mob mentality, we can’t hold those two responsible for what ensues in this age of social media. The definition of “justice” is different for everyone.
You need to check the facts in this case. This case was being investigated long before Anon decided to jump on the bandwagon. The so-called Anonymous faction which has inserted itself into this case has done nothing but sensationalize the case and distort the facts. They have brought nothing of value to light that wasn’t already known and have done nothing in terms of investigation regarding the case. Your statement regarding mob mentality makes little sense. Additionally, you are quite wrong regarding justice being different for everyone. By definition, justice is defined as the administration and procedure of the law. Justice has nothing to do with vigilante sensationalism.
Check the facts of the case, ok, not much was being done. Again, you say sensationalize, I say, bring to the publics attention. They have brought value by ensuring people will be held responsible. Sorry you didn’t understand my comment regarding mob mentality, I’ll clarify. You hold Goddard and anon responsible for what others choose to do when they learn of events via social media. They simply put the info out there for people to see. I was not referring to vigilante sensationalism as justice. There are many words defined in the dictionary that have multiple meanings. In this case, justice could simply be shedding light on an ugly situation and revealing what people think and say when they think no one is watching.
This is your blog so I won’t continue to comment since we disagree. I was merely pointing out that the initial post and accompanying video focused on those seeking limelight and I think that is irrelevant in the scope of this situation.
Simply because you and the general public are not aware of what is going on with the investigation does not mean that nothing is being done. This is precisely the problem with the uninformed public assuming that because the issue isn’t plastered all over the media then no action is being taken. That is a ridiculous and thoughtless notion. We seem to have a general populace that thinks they have the right to know everything and if they aren’t aware then action doesn’t exist. This is a childish notion at best. Nothing could be further from the truth. Merely gaining national attention does nothing to further an investigation and could have the direct opposite effect. In this circus-like debacle Anonymous (or whomever they truly are) have exhibited zero concern for the victim in this case and the #KnightSec faction as well as those working with it are only using the victim to gain notoriety, it would appear. By their own actions they have demonstrated that they have no concern for the victim and her well-being. In what way have Anonymous “brought value by ensuring people will be held responsible” as you state? How specifically have they accomplished this? For the record, I have never once mentioned Goddard in all of this. Curious that you did, though. You are welcome to comment at any time as long as you maintain civility, which you clearly have. I won’t belabor the issue with you any longer as you have clearly made up your mind regarding this issue. However, I invite you to keep an open mind and to examine the timeline of the case. Anonymous has had nothing to do with ensuring justice in this case.
The whole online back and forth is new to me, I appreciate your civility as well. I can see how quickly these things could go downhill. I mention Goddard only because it was her article/blog post that first got me interested in this entire fiasco. The audio clip of the long haired guy just seemed so smug and dismissive of her and anons efforts I felt compelled to reply (a first for me!) I guess I see the “value brought” from their efforts related to exposure. In other words, you act like a jerk and do the wrong thing (clearly several people did) you don’t get to skate by. You might not go to jail as your actions may not be criminal, but it certainly warns others of your behavior patterns and sheds light on your values. I also applaud the anons work to out pedophiles to the FBI. I do disagree with your assertion that they seek notoriety because they remain Anonymous. Again, I am relatively new to the online scene and there could be history that I am unaware of, so I try to keep an open mind as related facts are uncovered.
Fair enough! And you are doing very well in conversing in the online environment. Takes time to negotiate for certain but you are doing well. Chat soon~
“Simply because you and the general public are not aware of what is going on with the investigation does not mean that nothing is being done.”
THIS. And Thank You!
It amazes me how self centered people can be. Just because one isn’t privy to info, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or worse, been “suppressed”. And just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t make it a “mystery.”
Thank you for speaking out on this issue.
Thank you very much for your comments! I hope that you will continue to read here even if at times you do not agree. You are always welcome to comment. I only ask that comments remain civil which they have been. Reader input is very important to this writer. Thank you and please keep coming back~
Scott Behrens said:
The critics allege that there was some level of cover up in action. If that were the case then national attention is exactly what is needed to encourage transparency. KnightSec may use some unusual methods but they are performing the function of media here. Would it be preferable that injustice remain unnoticed just to prevent outcry?
A group of these kids call themselves the “rape gang.” They have probably gotten away with this sort of thing a few times before.
Critics often allege many things and without verifiable proof. I stated this once before and will state it again: simply because the general masses do not see what is going on in terms of investigation does not mean that nothing is being done. Calling attention to this case in a very selfish and circus-like manner was not the answer to ensuring that it continues to be properly investigated. The juvenile terrorist-like tantrums of this wannabe Anonymous faction have only potentially stalled the case rather than moved it forward. One can be emotional about a subject and create a disturbance in terms of “outcry” but causing a ruckus, for lack of a better term, is not productive. This case was being handled and now that this, in my opinion, foolish group has inserted itself where it does not belong the entire town is now in fear which makes it far less likely that anyone with viable information will come forward. The antics of this so-called Anonymous group – and I don’t believe that they are the authentic Anonymous – having potentially ruined this case in terms of the victim receiving justice and those accused receiving a fair trial should it ever get to that stage.
Outcry in this case may very well have prevented justice. For further details on this issue I recommend listening to the latest edition of Behind The Yellow Tape in which Joey Ortega and I discuss this issue with former FBI Agent Mark Safarik and former Ohio Police Detective Stacy Dittrich.