Steubenville, Ohio Is the Most Hated Town in America Thanks to Online Hackers

Rant 204

Steubenville rapeSteubenville, Ohio isn't the first place one might think of when they think of a rape scandal. It's a small steel town on the Ohio River where the football team is one of the few glories the town still has left. Now, it isn't steel or football that is making the town famous. It's a rape scandal.

On Saturday, throngs of protesters in Guy Fawkes masks descended on the town, fighting what they say was the unconscionable treatment of an alleged rape victim and her family. The case was made public, first by The New York Times and then by KnightSec, a hacker group that specifically targets rapists and some say harassed officials in Steubenville. They released a (disgusting, disturbing) YouTube video showing a Steubenville baseball player laughing about rape and an assault that allegedly happened last August.

Thanks to social media, the case has now blown up and Steubenville is being accused of aborting justice in the name of football. But is that a fair accusation?

The facts are: High school sophomore football players are accused of molesting a very drunk, nearly unconscious 16-year-old girl and using their cellphones to record it all.

The girl's family claims they have been harassed, intimidated, and threatened by citizens of the town who feel she wasn't sufficiently traumatized to call it "rape." Even from the news pieces, it's clear that many in the town are angry with the girl and not with the players. The Daily Beast quotes one resident saying:

F*ck that protest. F*ck those people with their masks on. And you can quote me on that.

It's easy to understand why he might be angry. Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of people who never even heard of Steubenville a few weeks ago are furious and calling for blood. A hacker group like KnightSec fuels online vigilantism, which can be a very bad thing when the accused have yet to even face a full trial and jury.

It all makes sense. But the reality of the situation is that these boys could have been unpunished and this girl would have been vilified for life had KnightSec not stepped in. Social media is bringing a whole other level of accountability to people. Remember Karen Klein, the bullied bus monitor from last June? Without social media and viral video, no one would have ever known what that poor woman faced at the hands of those kid.

It's a tough dilemma. No one wants to see innocent people go down. But we also live in a society where things like rape can go unpunished given certain circumstances. How is that fair?

If social media encourages more civility in real life, then what is wrong with that? If these boys are found guilty and get locked up, then KnightSec will be the reason.

We'd like to think our justice system is infallible and that guilty people are always punished. But we could all name 100 stories where that isn't true. Steubenville may hate the media spotlight, but the unwillingness to apologize and the continued harassment of a young, scared 16-year-old girl proves they lose their say in what happens a long time ago.

Hacker groups may be ugly. They may go against some of our ideals. But they get the job done. And here, they may make all the difference.

Do you think hacker groups should be exposing things like this?


Image via Ohio Office of Redevelopment/Flickr

crime, cyberbullying


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nonmember avatar kaerae

A witch hunt, bills? I don't remember witches casting spells on video, but maybe I missed that scene in The Crucible...

nonmember avatar Idon

This is splitting the town, and suddenly the judicial system seems to be insignificant. Now being accused means guilty. There have been no additional charges since KnightSec stepped in. People seem to believe that this was being swept under the rug, but it wasn't. There were two juveniles being charged already, and they're the same ones who are charged now. I have seen the 12 minute video full of jokes about the girl being dead and being raped. It was in bad taste, and it wasn't funny, however, I didn't hear the kid admit to personally seeing anything or doing anything wrong. However, people want his head to roll. If he did something wrong, then sure he should be charged, but from the video, I didn't see it.

bills... billsfan1104

Crys, I deal with facts. Not "leaks". The only thing we know was that she was drunk and two punks are being accused of molesting her and other kids are being accused of letting it happen and not helping her(which right now is not an prosecuting offense, just a moral offense). I AM GOING TO TYPE THIS AGAIN AND IN CAPS. THIS SHOULDNT OF HAPPENED TO HER. I AM NOT BLAMING HER. IF EVERYTHING THAT IS BEING ACCUSED OF IS TRUE, THEN THE OFFEDERS SHOULD BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST ETENT OF THE LAW.
But this witchhunt doesnt help.

nonmember avatar lonnbon

the whole sickening story

and here we learn that the police say they coulnt do a roofie test (they could and they should, but they wont) so the author describes what a roofie is, what is does, what alcohol doesn't do, and how a girl could "sleep" through being anally raped and not have memories of it- that's right- anesthesia. the boy keeps calling her the dead girl, because that's what a roofie does to your body, not alcohol. it's something that an idiot looking at the facts could figure out. emotion has nothing to with it. people with roofie experience and knowledge are saying "hey, that's a roofied girl, i know what that looks like."

stark... starkissed334

The entire reason anonymous outed the scandal was b/c this happened last August and the boys responsible for the rape went unpunished so the high school could salvage a football season. This is a travesty and these boys need to be punished accordingly. You can teach your kids all you want about drinking and rape and appropriate behavior, but some kids will still do what ever they want no matter the consequenses and that's why this has gotten as big in the media as it has. I know girls who get drunk till they pass out, sleep with multiple guys in a night and go home the next day to parents who think the sun shines out their asses. You think their parents never talked to them about things like this? Parents need to stop thinking that just talking to your kids is enough. Not only did this poor girl get raped and dragged around from party to party, they took pictures of her and recorded people making fun of her rape and it's a hit on youtube. That's never going away. Anonymous needs to be praised for what they do. If local law enforcement had done the right thing in the first place it wouldn't have come to this. Oh, and Ohio has plenty of other reasons to be in the media. Have people forgotten we have the most meth labs per capita of pretty much anyother state, we are worst in the country for supporting higher education and we have more cases of autism in the entire US.

nonmember avatar Crys

Yes, yes, BILLSFAN, you say she doesn't deserve it while couching it repeatedly with "she shouldn't be fucking naked and drunk." YOUR words. Disgusting. Seems to me people gave you links all over the place on these boards but you're too arrogant or stupid to read them. The person making wild accusations of her being drunk and naked are YOU...accusations not supported in any of the bazillion news accountings available for people who can actually read. You're an idiot and a woman hater. Done with you, troll.

bills... billsfan1104

Crys, I have an account here, so I am not the troll, you are.  When I made that statment, it wasnt agasnt the girl.  I was talking about, how we cannot have a discussion about how women and girls act, without people going batshit crazy and taking statements out of context, which you have done.  Yes men should be taught not to rape.  But women and girls should also be taught not to get themselves into situations where they are so drunk they cannot control a situation.  Why isnt that OK to discuss????

the4m... the4mutts

Billsfans comments make me want to vomit.

I am a 29yr old mother of a 9y/o child fathered in a rape, when I was drunk. I was 19, in MY OWN HOME! And my husband's roomate raped me after I passed out on my own couch.

It does not matter how drunk I got. I gave no permission before I began drinking that I wanted sex. I was incapable of giving permission once I was drunk.

I have every fucking right to get as shit faced drunk as I want, and should fully expect my own safety around people I was closely associated with. THEY WERE WRONG! NOT ME! I was not wrong for being drunk, I was not wrong for feeling safe in my own home, and I was not wrong for wearing a skirt, and I was not wrong for not being on birth control.

The man was wrong. Had I been sober, he probably still would have raped me. Had I been wearing sweats, had I, had I, had I.... doesn't matter! I did nothing wrong.

Neither did this girl.

the4m... the4mutts

Females have every right to dress how they want, and drink as much as they want. Its RAPISTS that needed to learn how to act as teens, and young boys. They're the ones with no respect.

Females should be allowed to do everything a male is allowed to do, without some fucking moron spouting bile about how she put herself in the situation. Its a disgusting and repulsive world when we have Captain Hindsights running around saying what could have been done to help prevent these things. NOTHING COULD HAVE BEEN DONE! Period.

Bloom... Bloomie79

Billsfan very simply it's not okay to discuss in the context of a 15 year old girl who was targeted, drugged, raped, raped, assaulted, raped then subjected to life long "celebrity" status thanks to YouTube and social media. There are no acceptable "facts" for you in this case, if those facts had been recorded by the police no one would have ever heard this story except the locals.

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