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

by Sasha Brown-Worsham on January 7, 2013 at 7:56 AM

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

Filed Under: crime, cyberbullying

Comments

204
  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    January 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    Can noone wait for justice anymore???  Can they wait for the police and so forth to do their investigation???

    And on another point, this is why I teach and have taught my girls, not to get into situations like this.  Do not get so sloppy ass drunk you pass out or dont know what you are doing, keep drinks with you, dress appropriatly and respect yourself.  I am not saying that she deserved it or it should of happened, but if we do not teach our girls AND our boys RESPECT, these things are going to keep happening over and over again.


  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    January 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    And maybe the parents should ALSO deal with why their 16-yr old daughter is getting so damn drunk she is incoherant.

     


  • LoveM...
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    LoveMyKBabies

    January 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM
    While in a perfect society this wouldn't have been necessary, I say good for KnightSec. Not only was this girl violated, she was harassed about it. From what I read the justice system didn't do a damn thing to help her or punish those that were guilty. I'm glad the hackers stepped in and helped her. It doesn't matter if the girl was drunk & incoherent (while she shouldn't have been & it was illegal for her to do so) it's besides the point, those boys are old enough to know better.
  • bleed...
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    bleedingheart8D

    January 7, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Billsfan, Are you really blaming the victim????!!!!! Are you f-ing kidding me! How about we teach out son NOT to rape. There is no excuse for it. I don't care if she was slopping drunk and naked. You don't rape. Period! Those boy ruined that girl's life and they deserve nothing less then their lives ruined in return.


  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    January 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    BLEEDINGHEART, once again you are not reading what I said.  I said we need to teach both our girls and boys about respect.  I NEVER ONCE BLAMED THE VICTIM.  Calm the f down.  Those boys needs to prosecuted, but we have to let the courts and system do their job.  We cannot be vigilanties and take justice into our own hands.  Remember those Duke Lacrosse players???  We need to let it take its course.

    What I am trying to say, is that we need to be honest with our kids.  We need to teach boys that if the girl is sloppy drunk is to run far away.  We also need to teach our girls not to get that getting sloppy drunk at age 16 is not the way to go. 


  • 2cent...
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    2centsCDN

    January 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM
    This poor child was dragged from house to house, vomited in the streets, she was pissed on, sexually violated all in front of how many other teenagers and then harrassed about it and mocked openly on the internet and throughout the town. Billfans has the nerve to blame her parents because she' a teenager that shouldn't have been drinking...shame on you billsfan!
  • kaerae
    -- Nonmember comment from

    kaerae

    January 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM
    It's not thanks to hackers, it's thanks to a culture that places a greater value on football than on anything else, and one in which the DA is the mother of an alleged party to rape and NO ONE in town thinks that is a conflict of interest. @Bills, as a mother of sons I get that girls are not always totally innocent and, yes, this girls parents were not at the wheel, but parents also need to talk to their sons about rape as much as they do their daughters if even for their own protection. Even if you've done something with a girl in the past with her permission, you can NOT do that same thing with that same girl if she's been drinking. I think the Duke case was a little different because you didn't have the guys ON camera practically admitting to, and joking about rape and admitting to engaging in sexual acts with a girl who was unconscious. I wish an outside posecutor aould be assigned to investigate instead of the mother of one of the alleged perpetrators.
  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    January 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    2cents, I didnt blame the parents.  I said that the parents need to also find out why she is getting so drunk at age 16, that she blackouts.  I am not blamming her nor her parents, but lets be honest, here, she shouldnt of been drinking like that. 


  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    January 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    And we have to remember that the two boys being accussed are on house arrest and was arrested.  All the other allegations are just that ALLEGATIONS.  They accusers deserve their day in court and are presumed innocent until proven guilty, no matter what these vigilanties say and what this blogger says.


  • Sonia
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Sonia

    January 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM
    If people would actually look into this further, you would realize that the courts will not do something about this. The prosecuting attorneys son was one of the alleged boys that did this. Only 2 of the boys were charged with anything to do with this case and the charged were dropped. The girl was slipped a date rape drug upon going out. The sherrif was even quoted saying "How do we know it was rape if she can't even remember it?" How about the pictures of that night. And the online posts from these boys as well as the video? These boys were given leway to do whatever they wanted because they were football stars. People in this town have come forward and admitted that these boys are known as the "Rape Crew". Please tell me how this is ok? Thank god for organizations for knightsec. These boys and town should be punished
1-10 of 204 comments

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