A Spreadsheet Of Accused Abusers Spreads, Anime Conventions Get Their MeToo Movement

A spreadsheet containing the names of alleged abusers and harassers who attend US anime conventions is making its way around social media as part of a small #MeToo movement in the niche community.

After a days-long social media discussion among US convention-goers naming alleged harassers, who are accused of anything from preying on minors to taking upskirt pictures of cosplayers, one online activist drew up a public spreadsheet that collected people’s allegations of misconduct. As of this article’s publication, it contains 34 names, and at any point, dozens of people may be looking at it.

Kotaku is not linking to the spreadsheet, and has not independently verified the claims in it. We did, however, meet with the spreadsheet’s creator, who would only go by “The Moderator”, in a Manhattan bookstore to discuss the controversial move.

“I’m not interested in punishing these people,” The Moderator told me. (The Moderator would not share their name or any private information about them for fear of repercussions; they were wearing a fur coat and described themselves as a “grumpy native New Yorker”.)

“Conventions can punish. Law enforcement can punish. I am not here to punish. I am here to equip people who are likely to be victimised to arm themselves and be suspicious because fear keeps us safe in these situations.”

The spreadsheet follows the format of the crowdsourced Google spreadsheet titled “Shitty Media Men”, which went viral in spring 2017. Moira Donegan, a former assistant editor at The New Republic, had participated in an ongoing whisper network among journalists, researchers, critics and other public media figures about men in their community who allegedly harassed or harmed others.

The spreadsheet was only live for half a day, but had immense impact in journalism. One man named on the list, former editor-in-chief and founder of The Rumpus, Stephen Elliott, filed a $US1.5 million ($2 million) defamation suit against Donegan.

For her part, Donegan wrote in a 2018 The Cut article titled “I Started The Media Men List”, “In the beginning, I only wanted to create a place for women to share their stories of harassment and assault without being needlessly discredited or judged.” Users were anonymous, she explained, to protect them from career or personal repercussions.

“There were pitfalls. The document was indeed vulnerable to false accusations, a concern I took seriously,” wrote Donegan, citing the message at the top of the spreadsheet: “This document is only a collection of misconduct allegations and rumours. Take everything with a grain of salt.”

At the top of The Moderator’s spreadsheet, it reads, “DISCLAIMER: This document is only a collection of misconduct allegations. Please use it to spot red flags and reduce victimization, not for vigilantism.”

“I just got so tired of seeing so many parallel accounts of the same predators,” The Moderator told me. They cited the fact that, according to several studies, over half of incidents fitting the definition of sexual assault are committed by repeat offenders.

“I kept seeing people make call-out posts, but if they’re being made on Twitter, they’re just going to vanish into the ether because of time. If they’re made on Facebook, they’re not going to make it outside of a really small circle. The convention community is nationwide.”

Skimming Twitter over the last few days, The Moderator noticed several allegations against members of the US anime convention community, which were made in the context of a greater conversation about holding convention attendees accountable for their behaviour. There’s a great fear about excluding people in the US anime community, they explained, which may be what’s led so many alleged victims to hold their tongues for so long.

“I know we all want to be accepting because the reason we’re together as a community is because we’re rejected for our interests in other spheres of society,” they said. “But at the same time, there are people who are just not safe.”

What draws tens of thousands to anime conventions every year is, in part, their funhouse wonderland environment where the normal laws of social interaction are suspended. Cosplayers strut about in full body armour or revealing costumes resembling their favourite anime heroes as part of a collective fantasy. Anime fans at conventions may feel liberated from general anxiety they may feel about not fitting in elsewhere.

“The problem is that once those initial social boundaries are eroded, a lot of people don’t stop there,” said The Moderator.

Larger conventions have trained security staffs and, more recently, have widely begun adopting strong codes of conduct around harassment. However, what happens in hotel rooms or in private is not so easily policed.

For years, convention attendees has been repeating the mantra “cosplay is not consent” in an effort to reinforce boundaries between cosplayers, who may be wearing attractive outfits, and their admirers or harassers. Building on this, the Cosplay Survivor Support Network, founded in 2016, offers mental health resources to victims of harassment at conventions. The Moderator thinks all this places too much of the onus to create cultural change on survivors.

“I don’t think it’s fair to identify a problem and not identify concrete solutions that are implementable by everyone,” said The Moderator. “People blame the victims, they blame the cosplayers, whoever was more drunk. It needs to be everybody’s problem, not just the problem of the victim.”

Individuals with allegations of sexual misconduct against cosplay photographers, convention chairs, panellists or even regular attendees are sharing them with The Moderator on a Google form. The results populate a private spreadsheet, which the moderator reviews before posting them on their public spreadsheet. The Moderator goes through to make sure the language is consistent.

“A lot of cases of people referring to all sex with minors as paedophilia and that’s not technically correct,” they said. “Also, a lot of people put in descriptions of something that was grooming but not use the word ‘grooming’. I wanted to use as accurate language as possible.”

There isn’t a threshold for who is included in the spreadsheet. Somebody with one allegation against them might find their name in it. “There’s probably more. It’s just a matter of time,” they said. About a third of the names on the list have multiple allegations against them.

This low barrier to entry is one of the reasons why the spreadsheet has proven immensely controversial, even among anime fans calling out alleged abusers on Twitter and other social media.

Justin Sevakis, who writes a column on Anime News Network, says he was horrified to see his name, apparently misspelled, on the spreadsheet. He was being accused of stalking. Sevakis says that an individual with a vendetta against him and Anime News Network has been “bullying” him for years, which some of his friends corroborated on Twitter.

(Once, he ran into that individual’s gym coach and explained with “colourful language” that she had allegedly been harassing him. When I asked her over email whether, by including him in the spreadsheet, she was accusing Sevakis of being an abuser or a predator, she said no, but added that speaking about her to her gym coach “was a highly invasive and inappropriate action that showed a pattern of poor behaviour in the anime community being overlooked and felt this action warranted being put on the list”.)

“Luckily I immediately identified the claim as being from my harasser, and had a bunch of friends come to my defence,” Sevakis told me. He tweeted at The Moderator to tell them to remove him, but he says he didn’t get a response. Somebody he knew made contact, though, and his name was removed. The Moderator agreed it was a mistake.

When I asked them about the possibility of further false accusations, they cited the statistic that just two to eight per cent of reported rape accusations are false.

Sevakis says that, while he is “heartened by the current conversation” around “creeps and abusers at conventions”, “the spreadsheet is not a good idea. It seems like a practical thing on the surface, but without anyone to vet the claims being made, it’s a free-for-all, and anyone can smear anyone with impunity.”

Without the rigour of fact-checking, triangulating between victims and alleged abusers, or even vetting of whether the person who submits an alleged name is submitting it because of a rumour or a personal experience, a spreadsheet such as this exists in a moral grey area.

The editor-in-chief of the Cosplay Survivor’s Support Network, who goes by Trickssi, agrees that there are problems with the spreadsheet format, but takes another perspective.

“That spreadsheet is not a good solution,” she explained over email. “It was intended to help, and those intentions were good, but it continues to be a bandaid...

“Such a spreadsheet also implies that it’s the victims’ responsibility to look over the list and have knowledge of who the predators are, and if the victim doesn’t know, that it’s their fault for not knowing. That’s known as victim blaming and it’s a part of the greater rape culture that exists thoroughly within the cosplay/convention/‘nerd’ community. It also comes up in the form of, ‘Well, if you didn’t want to get harassed, why did you wear that costume?’

Another convention attendee, Suri Price, has been retweeting accusations against community members over the last few days and thinks the spreadsheet is a good idea. “I think it’s good that toxic people are being exposed and, hopefully, flushed out. I hope it stick and the momentum keeps going. It’s not good enough for it to be something ‘everyone knows’ if no one actually talks about it,” he told me on Twitter.

The Moderator views themselves as a data broker rather than as somebody making judgements. “It makes me really uncomfortable to have to make personal, reasoned judgements about what goes in the sheet. I don’t want to be put on a pedestal as the moral touchstone of the weeb community,” they said. “I want people to understand that this is attempting to be a neutral source.”

Citing Mr Rogers, they continued, “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.”


Comments

    Yeah I'm not touching this with a 10 foot pole.
    I'm against harassment but this doesn't seem like a practical way of going about stopping it and I get that alternatives really aren't there yet either.
    Anonymous accusing puts up a red flag for me, though I get how difficult it might be for some to open themselves up for repercussions (if legitimate)

    What a cluster fuck.

    “That spreadsheet is not a good solution,” she explained over email. “It was intended to help, and those intentions were good, but it continues to be a bandaid...

    Its NOT a bandaid. Its a god dam BOMB. 'Lets make a list of all the people that do shit we don't like at conventions'. That is what the list is. If there are real sexual harassment problems, then they need to be delt with via the police. This is just opening people up for defamation suits and attacks.

    Accusations are not proof of anything, and to make a list like this is irresponsible and stupid. If conventions want to ban people, then fine, but to have a public list of people who are simply accused of something is VERY VERY BAD.

    Take that, and the fact that the person is putting people on the list at face value, and you have a recipe for a shit storm. This IS NOT a good thing. NOT AT ALL.

    Hell, even the thing this is based on had that problem, and for Kotaku to be ADVERTISING this thing is disgusting. The fuck are you doing?

    Again, this is a BAD idea and will not end well.

      Lets be fair Kotaku were pretty even handed about the document in the article even mentioning the potential problems it has and highlighting a situation where someone was falsely accused. So while I agree that the document seems like a bad idea I don't think Kotaku deserves the vitriol.

      Interesting stat (which is hard to verify) in the article about false rape reports ranging from 2-8%. If you could assume similar numbers on other harassment issues then even with 34 people on the list you could extrapolate and come to the conclusion that between 1-3 people in the list have been falsely accused. Something already backed up in the article with what happened to Justin Sevakis.

    alleged abusers and harassersAnd that's the problem - "alleged". This list consists of nothing more than names who have had allegations levelled at them - which may or may not be true. Yet the people named on it will almost certainly be treated as guilty even if they didn't do anything wrong. If people actually applied it within the alleged spirit of intention, then it might work. But it won't be - it'll be a list ripe for character assassination.

    We should listen and believe when someone makes such a claim - but we've completely fucked that up by adopting 'listen and assume guilt'. "The Moderator" has already fucked it up as the article notes, and they didn't even want to talk to the person who was put on the list with no demonstrable cause.

    It's easy to dismiss this because of the 'only 2% are false' claims, but that's cold comfort if you're part of that 2%. By that logic the death penalty is fine because hey, it's only n%! Incidentally the PschToday article is a mess of supposition and old articles which doesn't do much to support or refute incidences of false accusations.

      Yeah I gotta say the very first thing that I thought of when I heard of a spreadsheet for listing bad people is "this is massively open for abuse and will be abused to all heck"

      Last edited 20/01/19 6:43 pm

    just two to eight per cent of reported rape accusations are false
    not true.

    The numbers i found: 2% of rape accusations result in criminal conviction 6% are proven in various ways to be false allegations, meaning only 8% of rape accusations are proven one way or the other. This is worded misleadingly by simply stating 2-8% are false would mean you are assuming the approximately 90% of accusations that are not proven one way or the other are all legitimate. Seems like a stretch to me

      It's not a stretch when you consider surrounding data, which is what the studies that put forward these percentages generally did.

      For example, the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK measured prosecutions over a 17 month period and tallied 35 prosecutions for making a false allegation, compared to 5651 prosecutions for rape. Other studies like Burman et al (2009) make similar distinctions, monitoring attrition across the board. Looking at attrition at each stage of the legal process for difficult crimes like rape is important for determining at which point the system fails victims or the falsely accused, and it gives a much larger and more useful dataset than simple conviction rate.

      The general consensus from a few decades of studies is that the effective false claim rate for rape, as an extrapolation of multiple metrics, is slightly higher than for other crimes like burglary, but still sits within the 2-8% range with a fairly tight margin of error. There is enough statistical data to state that the vast majority of reported rapes did occur.

      It's a bit much to expect a full breakdown of statistical analysis models in an article like this that simply references the statistics in passing. The methodology for the studies is out there and while it's not something I'm willing to debate with you for personal reasons, it's probably worth having a read of the full papers to see how they address the concern you raised and factor confidence and error margin into their conclusions.

        We're not talking about rapes in the article - it's instead undefined "harrassment" and "abusers" with allegations made on social media instead of a formal legal process... so the statistics may not even have any real relevance to this event. Its inclusion is a poor attempt to lend credibility to a list of names of people who may or may not have done anything wrong.

        And again, reading such statistics is cold comfort if you end up falsely accused as one person already apparently has. Hell even Kotaku US know this is dangerous territory.

          I'm not defending the spreadsheet at all. I disagree with it - it's not like Deadmoth where there was actual evidence people could independently assess, it's just a list of uncorroborated and unsupported accusations. I tend to agree with derrick below that it was undoubtedly started with the best intentions but it will cause more harm than good.

          I'm specifically addressing the false claim statistic, because it's an extremely common target for people that are uncomfortable with the fact that rape and sexual assault are dangerously common and overwhelmingly perpetuated by men. Attacking the false claim statistic, particularly to imply that it's higher than it really is, is often a means of trying to shift the burden of responsibility more towards the victims and directly feeds into "we shouldn't believe her because..." rhetoric. That's something I'd very much prefer to cut off at the root.

        i don't know anything about the UK statistics the ones i found where based on the US i assume that its probably similar in all western countries. If the numbers i found were indeed correct then 2% proven true and 6% proven false 92% are never made it to trial or acquittals never found the assailant etc.

        If we take what is known in this case 8% and use it to estimate for the unknown (92%) the total would be 25% true and 75% false this is obviously not true, but you seem to think all false allegations ever made are discovered they are not.

        Concerning the Data you provided firstly women aren't always charged after making false allegations(35). Second your prosecutions for rape i'm assuming that number is not the amount of people found guilty just the number of people prosecuted (5651). Meaning 5651 cases were made in the UK that had enough evidence a prosecutor thought they could get a conviction.

        The conviction rate you called simple is the only measurement we can actually use buddy. You can't seriously expect to use statistics for people simply being prosecuted for rape as this is how many rapes have occurred in given time period. You also can't use prosecutions for false accusations as the be all and end all of the number of false allegations considering most allegations are never going to be decided one way or the other.

        The point i was trying to make is that we don't know the real numbers because the overwhelming majority of accusations aren't solved either way, when 92% of the Data is unknown i think its safe to assume more than NONE of it may be made up of false allegations therefore 2-8% is incorrect. I don't expect Kotaku to give a detailed statistical breakdown, what i expect is you don't use numbers when the overwhelming majority of the data is unclear you use language or at the very least clarify the numbers correctly. For example "very few rape allegations are proven false" or "2-8% of rape accusations are proven to be false".

        You say there is enough statistical data to state the vast majority of reported rapes did occur only if your the type of person who doesn't believe innocent until proven guilty. Clearly rape is a crime that given it's nature is extraordinarily hard to prove in a court of law being that it largely comes down to he said she said, i think we can all agree this is not optimal. However the idea that false accusations aren't a big and largely ignored part of this issue is absurd. In the first 12 years of it's advocacy the innocence project proved more CONVICTED RAPISTS innocent than the number of people convicted for rape. i doubt any of this will in any way change your viewpoint you seem to be one of those listen and believe types.

        If you someone is accused of rape and anything other than a conviction occurs you cannot count that accusation as correct (and no i'm not saying that means it's false) i don't give a shit how much statistical analysis or hand wringing or whatever they did. Best case scenario they are guessing and guessing does not produce facts.

          Like I said, I'm not going to debate this with you. Please, read the papers and study the methodologies they used because if you believe convictions are the only figure that can be used, then you're basing your conclusion on an incomplete set of data and an incomplete understanding of statistics. The lower confidence limit tends to sit around 85% at 99% confidence. It's not a guess, it's an informed estimation with mathematically provable limits.

            I'll just tag on here, 63% of prosecutions result in conviction, based on Department of Justice figures for 2010 to 2014. This is one of many reasons why examining attrition at every stage of the process is important, not just reports vs convictions.

    Holy shit this moderator character has no idea what they're doing. I'm sure they mean well, but; "fear keeps us safe" - nope, vigilance keeps us safe, fear just keeps us fearful; "the Moderator views themselves as a data broker rather than as somebody making judgements" - ok sure, but regardless of how they view themselves they are clearly making judgements (e.g. "there’s probably more. It’s just a matter of time”); they have ultimate control over whether someone's name is on/off the list, and seemingly require positive external corroboration in order remove someone from it, but not in order to put that person on it in the first place; and, "studies say that half of incidents fitting the definition of sexual assault are committed by repeat offenders"/"only 2% are false" - obvious problem being that these studies have no relevance to individual cases, regardless of the accuracy of the statistics. They're basically just saying 'no smoke without fire' as a defence to the issue of potential false allegations. This person is well intentioned, sure, but wow...what a clown. They should really just leave it to the cops.

      i agree i can see why they did it, but the idea it won't be abused is just so stupid.

      I feel that if your not going to report it to the police in the age of #metoo and the incredible pressure to take all allegations seriously now, i mean you probably have something to hide.

      I mean the way i understand it the reason crimes of a sexual nature are unreported is due to shame, thinking it was somehow your fault etc etc we all know why. I cannot think of a single reason why anyone should believe an anonymous accusation, given i think that any accusation worth listening to has an accused and accuser, but i cannot think of a reason then that your comfortable making the accusation on twitter but no to the police other than your making up shit and its criminal to do it to the cops but not criminal on twitter.

      We should listen to all accusations but if your anonymous i'm going to listen then forget because i believe it's better some guilty people go free than an innocent get done for something they didn't do.

        I cannot think of a reason then that your comfortable making the accusation on twitter but no to the police

        From analysis by the US Department of Justice from 1994 to 2010 (published 2013), the top reasons for not reporting sexual violence to police are feared retaliation (20%), belief the police will not do anything to help (13%), and belief the matter was personal (13%). 'Other/no reason given' made up 30%. 8% reported it to non-police officials (eg. healthcare professionals).

          Do people not fear retaliation making accusations on social media?

            Well, when you make an accusation on social media the mob jumps on the accused like a pack of rabid wolves so they wouldn't really have an opportunity to retaliate even if they wanted to.

            A lot of social media accusations are anonymous or semi-anonymous (either accuser or accused unnamed). Chloe Dykstra's Medium post didn't identify the accused for example, that was something other people eventually found out from digging. The next top reason is why you might see identified people doing it.

              Okay, so we can establish that retribution is still possible. So basically they want to swap a system (though flawed) that has due process for one that operates on allegation as proof of guilt.

              Yeah, that really isn't any better.

                Objectively, no it's not. Subjectively, the victims evidently feel like they're better off doing it that way. If we're trying to figure out why they're doing one and not the other, their subjective place in the matter has to be factored.

                  I'd wager that the subjective reason is because people don't actually like due process, because they don't like their accusations being examined. They want 'listen and believe' to be 'listen and convict'. We can see this in victims complaining about being questioned when going to trial - but questioning is essential in any fair process.

                  Fact is that people don't like being questioned - but if you want any sort of fair system, that's what's going to have to happen.

                  @soldant in this situation due process could very well mean having a defence lawyer attempt to shred your personal life in order to create reasonable doubt for their client - that's more likely to happen than not. Combine that with having to relive the entirety of the incident, in minute detail, and the whole time sitting there thinking - 'if this isn't convincing they're going to get away with it, and it'll be my fault.' I can't imagine anyone would want to go through that process.

                  @soldant derrick summed it up. The way defence attorneys question rape victims is neither fair nor respectful. I have friends who have regrettably had to go through the process, they weren't afraid to 'answer questions' at all, but they were afraid to have their choice of clothing blamed, the time of night they were out blamed, accusations that they consented but just regretted it the next day, the fact they moaned once while being raped taken as a sign of enjoyment and consent.

                  Very, very few people want to go through the torture of being a rape victim in a courtroom unless it's absolutely necessary. The fact the conviction rate is so low (63% from DOJ figures) compared to other crimes (eg. murder sits around 85%) means the chance their rapist could get away with it is frighteningly high, and if you're afraid that's going to happen then you're faced with undergoing a horrible court experience, exposing private and very vulnerable details about your life and what happened to you, for nothing. You must be able to empathise with that, surely.

                  @derrick Which I understand, but the alternative right now is that mere allegation or suspicion alone is proof of guilt - thus we get shitty lists like this. That's much worse than someone having to go to trial.

                  How anybody can advocate for a system where a person is assumed guilty and whoever made the accusation has nothing to prove is beyond me.

                  @soldant (reposted because I forgot to tag you)

                  How anybody can advocate for a system where a person is assumed guilty and whoever made the accusation has nothing to prove is beyond me.

                  Who is advocating this? Most of the people talking about their experiences on social media aren't. Even the spreadsheet owner said the goal of the thing isn't to assert guilt but to collect accusations so people can be cautious. Obviously that's a naive goal and the thing is stupidly exploitable, but that's not the same as advocating the assumption of guilt without evidence.

                  I don't disagree with you - anyone who advocates for that is advocating for a worse system than what we have now - but it reads like a straw man in the absence of someone actually making that argument.

                  @zombiejesus 'The Moderator' can say what they like but we all know it will be used to assume guilt and establish punishment (by exclusion) - the list serves no other purpose. The point I'm making isn't a strawman in this instance because The Moderator already had an apparently innocent man listed and then refused to engage with him when he argued to the contrary, and only removed him when other people came to his defence.

                  You say it's a naive goal, but I think The Moderator knew exactly what she was proposing with this list, and it's endemic to these sorts of reports. You don't promote 'awareness' unless you expect people to act on the supposed threat - any suggestion that it was just an innocent list is damage control. Hell even Kotaku US weren't game to cast it in a positive light, and they'll jump on the smallest allegation if it's a chance to indulge in some character assassination!

                  @soldant If the goal was to advocate presumed guilt, it doesn't make sense to have included a disclaimer stating the opposite at the top the whole time it's existed: "DISCLAIMER: This document is only a collection of misconduct allegations. Please use it to spot red flags and reduce victimization, not for vigilantism."

                  You seem to be assuming malice when naivete is equally applicable. That's your right to judge in that way, but Hanlon's razor applies: don't attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

                  Disagreement on the spreadsheet owner's intentions aside, it seems we agree that guilt presumed without evidence is a worse system than what we have. I hope we agree that there are a number of relatable reasons why victims of sexual assault may choose to talk about their experience on social media rather than start a harrowing legal process, that don't rely on the assumption of malice.

                  @zombiejesus
                  it doesn't make sense to have included a disclaimer stating the opposite at the top the whole time it's existedWell it does, because if they put something saying 'these people are guilty' they'd likely be open to legal action. She clearly knew that it was going to be used for those purposes though - it's like defending the Pirate Bay by saying "Oh well you're not supposed to use it for copyright infringement..."

                  @soldant Alright, since you seem to have ignored the attempt at finding common ground, I'll be blunt. I believe you're acting hypocritically by applying your own standard of evidence inconsistently between the alleged abusers and your own allegation of malicious purpose. You're treating your own unsubstantiated allegation as given while simultaneously regarding the unsubstantiated allegations in the spreadsheet as inappropriate.

                  To be clear, I oppose the spreadsheet; I'm solely addressing your claim of intent. This isn't like the Deadmoth thing. With that, the evidence led to only a very limited number of reasonable interpretations. Here, you're outright dismissing reasonable interpretations. You're within your right to apply your standards inconsistently if that's your choice, but it's something I have no interest engaging with.

                  @ZombieJesus:

                  The fact the conviction rate is so low (63% from DOJ figures) compared to other crimes (eg. murder sits around 85%) means the chance their rapist could get away with it is frighteningly high,

                  I just want to point out that there are a lot of reasons why this is the case. And it's not just a situation where the court sides with the rapists. Evidence is a particularly difficult issue. Especially when you have situations where in a lot of cases the victim feels "unclean" afterwards and immediately washes. Effectively removing the most telling physical evidence. Or they don't report it for days/weeks/months/years! Making evidence gathering all but impossible.

                  Similarly, witnesses are hard to obtain and in many cases won't provide much information of value. About the best you'd get in a lot of cases is "yes we saw them together".

                  And ultimately unlike murder, assault or theft there's not necessarily something "obvious" to indicate the crime which can then be tied together with the witness statements and evidence. Take the scenario where an apparently happy couple leave a bar together and go home. Where the victim is forced to have sex. There may not have been violent force or drugs involved at any point, but it's still technically rape. That's going to be hellishly difficult to prove.

                  @skrybe I'm certainly not suggesting courts are siding with rapists. I'm saying that when you're a victim, the 'why' someone has a chance of getting away with it offers no relief to the stress that they have any chance of getting away with it, let alone one as significant as a third.

                  This thread of conversation is about why victims may prefer to talk about their experiences on social media but are unwilling to report it to police. I've given both actual anecdotal reasons people close to me have given - people I completely trust are telling the truth - and I've given statistical data from law enforcement, both corroborating the same thing, that being a victim in a court room is hell.

                  But the notion remains in some comments here that they're really doing it because they know their claim won't hold up to scrutiny (implicitly, because it's embellished or false), and they're instead trying to maliciously bypass fair process. That attitude is one of the biggest problems we have in terms of how victims of sexual assault are treated by society today - the assumption that they're not telling the truth simply because they haven't reported it to police. It's a dangerous and harmful assumption, and while I try to keep an open mind about differing views, that attitude is something I firmly will not abide. The incidence rate for false reports is low, there's virtually no reason to assume anything but truth at the outset.

                  No vigilantism. Believe, then verify. Fully support the victim now, but verify before taking action against the accused. Because it's a lot better to initially believe a liar than it is to initially disbelieve a victim.

                  PS I got the notification because this chain has been all replies to me, but your tagging me didn't work. The tags have to be all lowercase (for everyone) otherwise they don't work.

                  So if i'm getting this right you think defense lawyers are too mean in court but what are we meant to do about that?

                  maybe rapists don't get a defense attorneys? maybe some kind of penalty to the rapist if his lawyer gets out of line after all he has been accused.

                  the idea seems to be well going to court is too hard for the victim so why not just make accusations over social media and ruin their lives that way, maybe they get fired from their job after the outrage mob bombards the employer. Maybe they just become a social pariah for the rest of time, maybe they get the joy of hundreds of people telling their 10yo daughter "your daddy's a rapist" on facebook yeh that seems like justice.

                  Which is why again im saying that the only metric worth using is convictions because if the person hasn't been convicted then that is it, you don't get to use social media as a weapon to destroy people without due process. (If the conviction rate is 63% like you say and 2% total reports end in conviction that mean roughly 3% of reports go to trial that is very alarming, still 6% are proven to be false yet you think out of the remaining 91% only 2% are false?? yeh i don't think so)

                  fundamentally i think the issue here is either your personal experience with these types of crimes and people in your life has skewed you in the direction of not caring if innocents get punished whether in the legal system or outside the legal system as long as we also punish more of the shitheads that are getting away with it. Or your just one of the people who thinks it's better that innocent people go down as long as guilty people don't go free.

                  Can we at least agree that these crimes are:

                  not taken to court often enough

                  do not end in conviction often enough

                  and that it is much more likely for false accusations to happen over social media than to the police and therefore we should be trying to stop this #metoo social media witch hunting bullshit before it gets even further out of control?

                  @illexi I haven't read your reply. I've said a few times already, I'm not going to debate this topic with you for personal reasons. If you must know why, you have an established track record of being a troll who thinks it's fun trying to agitate people you imagine to be politically left of "SJWs", and I'm not going to waste time going over something with a lot of personal importance to me with someone I think is incapable of treating the subject tactfully and respectfully and has in the past preferred to just make a mockery for a laugh instead. I've happily debated with many people here I disagree with over the years, but there's a gulf of difference between disagreement and derision, and you've used the latter too many times.

                  @zombiejesus: I wasn't trying to suggest that you believed courts were biased. Merely pointing out to anyone who reads the thread that there are reasons why they're so difficult to successfully prosecute.

                  While I agree with you on the "believe initially until verified" comment every time there is a false accusation it makes that more difficult. Which is why false accusations and malicious claims are so damaging to genuine victims.

                  It's also really difficult to view it from a 3rd party perspective when you see someone claiming something online partly because I know just what sort of bullshit people spout online. The amount of trolling and outright malicious crap that people come up with purely for their own entertainment makes me immediately doubt any claim I see that's on the internet, particularly when it's done anonymously.

                  @zombiejesus nice that you finally admit your bias on this topic because it relates to a personal issue of yours, i'm not a troll but it's nice that you hit all the stereotypes. "i don't want to debate this with you here is everything i believe though just you know so you can educate yourself" then "i won't debate with you because your just a troll and only say things to try and start an argument i only debate with real people".

                  If you wan't to try and sell the "i won't debate this with you" crap again how about you just leave it there and don't try and drop your opinion off behind that statement then pretend you don't want to debate it. i think your the troll here dropping your opinion then saying i wont debate i wont debate..... underhanded at the very least.

    I wonder how onboard these list makers would be if allegations were made about them and they felt the ramifications of listen and believe.

      I remember that job. The original investigating officer is no longer in the job. I remember attending her house more than once for fake burglaries. I became especially suspicious on the night she alleged she was run off the road and cut by a knife. I found the knife at the scene which did not make sense. Was very happy when the higher ups took our word seriously when we cast doubt.

      That's an interesting article and a couple things really stand out to me.

      False allegations, particularly of rape, are easy to make and difficult to prosecute, prosecutor Trent Hickey told the packed ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday. This was a crime committed not just against one family. It was committed against the community and against real victims of assault and domestic violence.

      I bolded the sentence for emphasis. Any time there is a false accusation it creates a sense of distrust or disbelief that's damaging for real victims. The more false accusations there are the more doubt it casts on real ones. It's like the old boy who cried wolf story.

      Forensic psychiatrists diagnosed no mental illness in the woman, leaving Mr Hickey to conclude that she was motivated by greed and "plain old maliciousness". The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had no criminal history but her lawyers had little to offer in mitigation:

      I find this disappointing too. I feel like if it was a man we'd see his name plastered over the media everywhere. But it also points out flaws with the whole public naming and shaming attitude behind the vigilante approach. There is a *legal requirement* not to name her. Despite her actually being convicted. So what harm is public naming and shaming creating from a legal perspective in other cases?

    What happens if this Moderator character is the biggest sex-pest of them all? Do they have to report to the accused? Or is there a second independantly ran list?

    Sounds like it could be used as an alternative to swatting.

    If you are against the notion of this spreadsheet, then I guess you are also anti-Batman.

    +1.

    Always supportive of vigilantism and a damned good lynching.

    Justice before the law is an outdated concept it seems.

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