I’ve been wondering what the Anonymous Operation Roll Red Roll is/was all about. And, I wondered, where’s Steubenville and why has its football website has been repeatedly hacked?
The world’s media have been full of the disgusting gang rape in India.
“Five men accused of raping a university student for hours on a bus as it drove through India’s capital were charged Thursday with murder, rape and other crimes that could bring them the death penalty,” says the Toronto Star.
Will they now similarly pick up on the even more horrifying gang rape which took place in the Ohio town of Steubenville?
And the crime may not have come fully to light had it not been for Anonymous.
“It’s Monday, and ominous-looking clouds are pushing over Harding Stadium as dozens of football players in practice jerseys prepare to take on Cleveland’s Benedictine Bengals,” says the Cleveland Plain Dealer, adding:
“But this day two key players are missing from the field.”
“Police had arrested two sophomore starters just days before and charged them with kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old girl from a town just across the river in West Virginia.
“One of them is also accused of taking a nude photo or video of the girl.”
But that wasn’t the worst of it, as the video shows …
And more than 2 people were involved.
Update — Also see Bob Cook’s Forbes post, to wit »»»
Slowly, then swiftly, reaction to formal rape accusations brought in August against two members of the Steubenville (Ohio) High School football team have moved from locally produced or of-interest-in-Steubenville-only tweets, Facebook posts and emails to a truly World Wide Web phenomenon. So much so, the groups Anonymous and KnightSec claimed credit for hacking a team fan site not once, but twice, and have called for an IRL march on the local courthouse at 1 p.m. local time, Sat., Dec. 29, to protest local authorities’ handling of the case, a rally that is expected to attract at least 700 people.
It’s hardly unprecedented that unsavory behavior by local athletes combines with small-town wagon-circling (especially in a dying steel whose population peaked in 1940, and whose current total of about 18,000 is below the level it reached 100 years ago) to create a situation that causes tension locally. Of course, as The New York Times reminded us (in a story that caught Anonymous’ attention), the apparent crime itself unfolded over social media with various pictures, tweets and video showing pieces of the party itself that is the center of the case, or reaction to it. Apparently, as often happens, no one thought putting up this stuff for the world to see, theoretically, would result in them seeing it, in practice, thus result in a big-paper story that exposes many of the ills the people in town would rather not talk about with outsiders. Live by the tweet, die by the tweet.
Anonymous and KnightSec have added a big dimension to this, with its threat to reveal every bit of personal information it can find on everyone it identifies as a culprit in the rape case (which, formally, involves two players who will face trial on Feb. 13) by Jan. 1 if those folks don’t reveal themselves and apologize to the high school girl identified as the victim. Anonymous already has its own site that reveals all sorts of stuff about these folks, though I’ll let you find that yourself, what defamation lawsuits already out and about (even if they haven’t all been successful) filed against those who posted what the plaintiffs said was false information.
Hopefully, what happens on account of all this excitement is that those who truly committed a crime are brought to justice, and that anyone who feels they have to protect the football team on principle, no matter what, change their ways. Or, the scenario where the hardest core of football supporters dig in, and those who aren’t respond with silence out of fear of rocking the boat. Which, presumably, is why the case will be actively followed online, and pressed by those who don’t have to worry about living with, or under the thumb of, anyone who lashes out against those perceived as a threat against the exalted status of a high school football team designated as the shining beacon of an otherwise fading town. Of course, there is also the possibility that all sorts of innocent people get wrongly slimed in an emotional reaction to an awful situation. After all, legally speaking, no one has been convicted of anything yet.
I think the lesson here for everyone is:
1. Whatever you put online lives forever, and can be seen by anyone
2. Just because you put on a uniform doesn’t make you king of the world
3. If you’re a nice person and do the right thing, issues No. 1 and 2 probably don’t matter
Jon Newton — myblogdammit
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