Have you heard about these "Hollaback" Sites?

#1
I wonder if many people here are familiar with these new "Hollaback" sites. Here is the NYC version: http://hollabacknyc.blogspot.com

These sites enable women to take pictures of men who do things to them in public places (like the subway) that make them uncomfortable (usually things like exposing themselves or masturbating or making suggestive remarks or actions or other similar things) and then this site will post a picture of the offender as well as the description of what they did. The idea is to hopefully cause some embarassment to these people and ths discourage them from engaging in this kind of behavior.

I think there are a whole lot of issues about these sites. They started in NYC but are starting to spring up all over the place. On the whole, I think it's a great thing to help women who have previously just had to suffer these kinds of indignities for many years. But I also think there is a huge potential for abuse. I'm not going to make a long post here. I'm just going to ask if anyone would like to discuss this issue. If not, I won't bother. I'm hoping maybe a few people here will have some opinions so that we might have a bit of a discussion about it. I think it's a great topic for discussion.

I should say that it's almost always a woman complaining about a man. But they are not totally sexist and have some policies for cases when other genders or sexual preferences are involved.

Re: Have you heard about these "Hollaback" Sites?

#2
Posting something at these sites, if not correct, can be libelous. Think about the recent Duke Lacrosse case. If the alleged victim had posted on such a site, identifying the Lacrosse players as rapists along with their photos, and then the entire story turned out to be a complete lie, the damage done by such a false posting would be devestating to the falsely accused. It would form the basis of a slam-dunk lawsuit for damages based on such libelous information. This is an extreme, but concrete, example of the danger inherent in hosting factually unverified statements about others, especially since the motives of the poster are not subject to any sort of preliminary scrutiny or subsequent examination. I would never start or host such a site, nor would I post at such a site. The exposure form either activity is substantial.

Re: Have you heard about these "Hollaback" Sites?

#3
billymac wrote:Posting something at these sites, if not correct, can be libelous. Think about the recent Duke Lacrosse case. If the alleged victim had posted on such a site, identifying the Lacrosse players as rapists along with their photos, and then the entire story turned out to be a complete lie, the damage done by such a false posting would be devestating to the falsely accused. It would form the basis of a slam-dunk lawsuit for damages based on such libelous information. This is an extreme, but concrete, example of the danger inherent in hosting factually unverified statements about others, especially since the motives of the poster are not subject to any sort of preliminary scrutiny or subsequent examination. I would never start or host such a site, nor would I post at such a site. The exposure form either activity is substantial.

I think you are quite right. Although we'd need a lawyer to spell out the exact law.

But I see many other problems. It's not only the people posting on the site who could be hit with legal problems. Given that anyone can use a fake identity with a phoney email address, it's pretty easy to make yourself very anonymous and post any kind of horrible stuff you want.

If you walk into a internet cafe where you are not known, it is fairly easy to be highly anonymous. Even better, if you buy a prepaid cell phone, you can post pictures and email and be very highly anonymous. Or at least anonymous enough. Granted that anyone who is involved in serious crimes can probably be tracked down and identified. But when it comes to planting false stories that are really "civil wrongs" and not really crimes, my guess is that people can be anonymous enough to get away with it.

But the amount of potential abuse is incredible. If anyone has a grudge against any other person, they can create a fictitious ID and then post their victim's picture and a horrible story. If the victim has a respectible job, it's very likely that posting will cost them all kinds of problems. Worst of all, these kinds of problems are the kind that just never go away - even if totally untrue.

I can't understand how these people can get away with doing this kind of thing - both the people who run the web site and those who post on them.

There is also the spectre of college kids and frat boys trying to have some fun by posting all kinds of weird stuff on these sites. In the past, they have held contests to see who could get the most outlandish story published in a newspaper. Or who could get the most ridiculous thing onto a national TV talk show. I would bet that lots of kids will attack these sites with phony stories - just for the fun of it. But if they use real peoples' pictures, it won't be much fun at all for the victims.

Re: Have you heard about these "Hollaback" Sites?

#4
The one abuse that worries me the most is that some guy might look sideways at some lady and she might wrongly decide he was leering at her and take his picture and post some story.

What is the guy to do? He is accused and found guilty right on the spot. He has no way to tell his side of the story and no way to defend himself.

It reminds me of medieval witch trials.
Post Reply

Return to “Satriale's Meet Market”