Recently there seems to be a backlash against those of us who view public shaming as an acceptable consequence. They argue that public shaming is unfair because all these hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos should be given to the VPD and be put thru our court system. I don’t disagree with the court system. I just happen to hold the opinion that many will either not be charged, or they will just get a slap on the wrist. I also hold the opinion that those who get leniency walk away from this incident to play over in their heads as an accomplishment and a time of excitement.
They also argue that the wrong people may get ID’d, or that photos may be photoshopped. Bystanders may also be targeted instead of the “true criminals”. I’m sorry to say that may be true in small isolated instances separate from the June 15th Vancouver riots, but not in this case.
There are errors as I’ve seen on the post a picture and ID the rioter sites. I will give that. However, anything I’ve posted on my blog is to the best of my ability in scouring what’s out there to make sure that those I label as “ready to be shamed” are indeed who they are. What these civil liberties crusaders forget and from their white towers like to say is that normal everyday people don’t have the journalistic training or investigative skills to identify people correctly. What they forget is that the majority of people outing these rioters are friends, family, co-workers who actually know these people. These people aren’t ID’d as if it were a “Which one is Waldo” game.
I’ve also seen the argument put forth that I might shame someone who was “just hanging out with their friends” and was caught on video or a photo. Sorry to say that I’m not just posting photos of people “in a crowd”. If anyone knows a firefighter or paramedic, ask them what their procedure is when they are supposed to help a downed victim when there is the potential of harm that can be done to them. Contrary to popular belief, it’s firefighter and paramedic lives before the public. These people “in a crowd” limited the ability of first responders from doing their jobs. Fires were allowed to burn as fire crews couldn’t get near. I did not see in any footage these crowds parting like the Red Sea to allow firefighters to do their jobs.
There is also criticism that sites like this should be taken down as it’s not fair that their photos and names be released to the public so readily and easily. When I hear this I question I have to ask if they’ve lived under a rock since social-media began. My site is a very small fraction of the hundreds and thousands of photos out there. Sites exist that are solely used for ID’ing and outing people. I’ve taken the position myself, that I want to only post those photos that are confirmed as accurately as I can ascertain. Social-media and it’s burgeoning rise has ended any privacy. Public shaming is what brought Anthony Weiner down. The photo of his hot dog went viral much in the same way so many people have posted photos of rioters now.
There also exists people who state that I’m unjust in only posting a few photos in comparison to what is out there and more worthy of the “criminal status”. I am very aware of how many photos have been ID’d and at this point placing them on here also makes it redundant. Does it mean they won’t go up? You can bet they will at some point. I am Captain Vancouver, not Captains of Vancouver. I can only wish this was my full-time job and I was being paid for it. I didn’t set this blog up to shoot a hundred different photos up in one shot. If all goes accordingly, I’ll be posting their photos even as their trials are going on. This will be months if not years from now. I’m a regular guy who’s carrying the same frustration that many others do. Don’t worry Brock Anton, you’ll be up for showcasing at some point.
With all this said and how I feel about public shaming being a deterrent for future acts of rioting, I also condemn those illegal acts committed under the banner of shaming. Shaming which causes an employer to fire someone for the reputation of their business is ok. Shaming which has caused a future employer to question the character of their potential employee I believe is fine too. Shaming someone on their Plenty Of Fish account when trying to find online love, that too is ok. However, uttering threats and physical violence should not be condoned. I’ve heard thru emails I’ve received that some people have received threats against them. That’s not cool because I know on my site I’ve erased and deleted phone numbers that were placed for that very reason.
I understand everyone’s frustrations at these people. Let’s keep it at that and just let them bear their shame.
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