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Victim outs stalker on Facebook


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#1 groovicus

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:26 PM

I ran across this article the other day. I am going to quote a bit of the article:

Top German high-jumper Ariane Friedrich has posted the details of an alleged cyber-stalker on her Facebook page, claiming that she wanted to name and shame the individual for sending her explicit pictures of himself.

"I've been offended in the past, sexually harassed and I've had a stalker before," she wrote, after posting the name and email address of a man who allegedly sent her a photo of his genitals in an email.


My first thought was "hell yeah". What better way to get some sort of vindication towards one's tormenter, especially given the burden of proof required by the US judicial system (Disclaimer: this was posted by a German citizen, and the judicial system is different than the judicial system in the United States). And although I think I might be inclined to do the same thing, I had a couple of thoughts.

Fist, how do we know if the alleged stalker is actually guilty of anything? Are we just supposed to take the word of Ms. Friedrich? Again, speaking as a citizen of the United States, this is clearly a violation of due process. What if she is just a jilted lover trying to get revenge and gain public sympathy?

Second, given the vigilante mentality that exists on the Internet, what would her level of responsibility be if someone decides to take up her cause and extract justice from this person? What if he were killed? Should she be held criminally liable for slander if the charges are not true and he comes to harm (again, this is not something that happened in the U.S., but I am speaking in terms of U.S. law)? What if, as a German citizen, she posted this information on a site that was physically located in another country?

It is just an interesting case to me. I am not sure that any judicial system is ready to deal with situations such as this, especially given the global nature of the Internet.

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#2 Required Field

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

That's food for thought... I say yes, if anything happens to him, she is responsible. Due process may be slow, but it is important to justice for both.
"Most quotes attributed to famous people on the internet are fake." -Abraham Lincoln

#3 Galyn

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:45 PM

Stalkers.. A friend of mine have one before.. they're scary.

#4 myrti

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:08 AM

Hi,

Friedrich said another sentence, which I think in this circumstance shows a lot about her feeling: I'm tired of being a double-victim, not only do I have to suffer the abuse, I also have to keep silent about it and thereby protect the offender. I won't do this any longer. (translation by me, from here: http://www.stern.de/sport/sportwelt/hochspringerin-ariane-friedrich-stalker-outing-entfacht-facebook-debatte-1817050.html ) Unfortunately feeling oppressed doesn't make it right.

Her actions have been discussed quite controversely in Germany, there are people backing her and people denouncing her actions as irresponsible. Most people agree that she should be leading as an example and therefore her actions were wrong. Personally I think she knew what it was doing. She's a police detective at her day-job and has filed for sexual assault against the person sending the facebook message.. I think I remember an article where she said she'd collected the necessary data to identify him.
I don't have a good background in law, but what I've taken from newspaper articles published here, she won't face criminal charges if her claims are true or even if it turns out that she made an "honest mistake", namely if she received the email and picture from the account. However she could be facing civil charges for breaching the person's privacy, even if he is the right person (and from any other person living in a town with the same name (and there seem to be several of those). Privacy laws are a lot tougher in Germany than in the US, from what I have seen in newspaper articles from both countries. In Germany a newspaper is not allowed to print the full name or un-pixeled pictures of either the victim or the offender. A report about "george zimmerman and trayvon martin" with mugshots of both is unthinkable here. The last names would be appreviated and the faces in the pictures blacked out.
Her actions and the possible consequences have been covered in minutious detail. The fact that she's been molested (virtually) has gotten almost no coverage. Hence, personally, I think people will think thrice before doing this again in Germany.

Timing has been very off for Friedrich, who posted her public outing on Facebook only 2 weeks after an (innocent) 18yo almost got killed by an angry mob in Emden because of wrong accusations on social networks: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120331-41681.html

Edited by myrti, 15 May 2012 - 06:11 AM.

is that a bird?  a plane? nooo it's the flying blueberry!

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#5 Mascoma

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:33 PM

and good friend told me once, "don't believe anything you hear and only 1/2 of what you see" and that goes double
what you read on the internet and Facebook...

#6 myrti

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:58 AM

So you're saying she was never molested or harassed and it's all lies?

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#7 rms4evr

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:50 PM

I hate to resurrect an old topic, but as someone who has been a victim of "unwanted contact," I would like to add my two cents.

When someone who you don't want to talk to, for whatever reason, continues to make contact with you, even when you tell him/her to stop, you start to feel helpless. Most of the time, they have'nt done anything illegal, and there is literally nothing you can do to stop it, short of never going online again. In my case, I have told this person to stop contacting me, but about once a year, he sends me a random link to a video game website. I don't WANT to be contacted by him, but what am I going to tell the authorities, or moderators on websites? "He sent me a link that I didn't want?" No one would take it seriously. You are helpless, totally and completely.

So, I can understand that this girl wants to take action. When someone keeps doing something like this, you want to do something to make it stop. Yes, you may even want revenge; they are doing something to you, and you want to make them pay. It may be wrong to out someone like this, when someone is initiating unwanted contact, you get tunnel vision; nothing else matters, except making him/her pay.

I'm not saying if this girl is right or wrong, I'm just saying that I understand.

And yes, I got my yearly unwanted pm and link just a few weeks ago. I really wish he would stop. But there is nothing I can do.

#8 MissPlaced

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:35 AM

@rms4evr,
Can't you simply Block you're "Link sender"??..I'm just curious....

Edited by MissPlaced, 31 July 2012 - 09:36 AM.


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#9 technickel

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:10 PM

groovicus...
The way the court deals with a situation where a woman claims she has suffered/is suffering from harassment/abuse by a man is to simply abuse the rights of that man. After all, how often are there more than two witnesses to the alleged crime? Law enforcement and the judicial system are under pressure to do SOMETHING!




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