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Journalism's role in Interet vigilantism

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Gator, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    So I've seen this story a posted a few times on social media, about a woman who claims a man was videotaping her "private" parts on a popular street in Boston (she also claims he was taping underage girls). She approaches him with her cell phone rolling, making the claim, and the man denies while she follows him around. She posted the video to her Facebook page, and it's has now been shared 230,000+ times.

    The people at Cosmopolitan call to do an interview and run the story at the link below. Other outlets pick it up, including local TV stations in Boston.

    I don't really have a dog in the fight, but my first thought is this: as journalists, our job is to take a claim, find out as much information as possible, get both sides of the story, and be as fair and balanced as possible. I'm just not seeing that here. I understand that Cosmo is not the pinnacle of journalistic integrity, but I would assume TV news stations would at least try to adhere to the practices.

    There's a lot of things that bug me about this, too. I mean, that guy, who has already lost in the court of public opinion, could be me. Or you. Or anyone. That's fucking scary. As Internet sleuths have pointed out, the woman filming is an "aspiring musician" who is about to release a song, or an album, or something. She could be looking for 15 minutes of fame, and who knows, maybe the whole thing is a hoax to try to get her name out there. Either way, it's worked, and outlets I would figure to be worthy of my respect, ran with a one-sided story.

    Badass Woman Confronts Creep Who Was Reportedly Secretly Filming Women and Underage Girls
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Who needs sources? /Seymour Hersh
  3. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Yep. Scary. And Cosmo better damn well be sure he did it, or he can sue for libel.
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    It couldn't be me, because I don't film women in public and zoom in on their crotches. He did. I have no doubt.

    I question whether this happened in Boston. I hear no accents.
  5. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Funny. I just finished watching Basic Instinct.
  6. Why do you have no doubts?
    Based on the footage, I have NO clue ...
  7. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    One tell is he says something along the lines of not needing permission to take the pictures or why does she think he needs permission. Also no denials of taking pictures.

    The dude has now deleted his LinkedIn page and the Facebook page of his company is gone.
  8. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    I don't know if he did it or not. I don't know if it's illegal or not. I put it on the journalism board because I would have a hard time putting my byline on a story that is so one-sided, and quite frankly, irresponsible. Furthermore, it has now been picked up by several national outlets (blogs). It scares me that This is what 'journalism' has become.
  9. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Well, it's going on two days now, so I guess the Interet is here to stay.
  10. YorksArcades

    YorksArcades Active Member

    That developed over many years and can't just be blamed on the Internet. As soon as many places shifted over to "gotcha journalism," the standards of proof plummeted. After all, anyone who opposes certain stories has to be a sexist/racist/homophobe/(fill in the blank).

    You can see the proof of this in certain repetitive, intentionally offensive posts made by morons in threads here.
  11. SFIND

    SFIND Active Member

    If he was taking pictures -- not up-skirt photos, but just regular photos -- in a public place, he's absoluetely in the right that he doesn't need permission. This woman could be oversensitve, as in he's taking a wide angle photo while kneeling or something, and she thinks he's shooting up her skirt. There was something similar a couple of years ago I think in Jersey where a kid was flying a drone with a wide-angle lens over a beach and a girl in a bikini assaulted him, called the cops and accused him of spying on her or something. He proved his innonence by showing the police the drone footage (where every person appears as big as an ant) and video of her assault.

    I don't really blame women from being overprotective because there are plenty of creeps around.
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