Apparently, it seems to be all the rage for people to start their own vigilantes ‘pedo-hunter’ Facebook pages. I’ve talked about groups like this before here and here. Basically, these groups follow the Perverted Justice business model. They pose as children and lure suspected online predators to a meeting place where the cell phone cowboys ambush their prey with a livestream of the meeting that accomplishes basically nothing.
Click2Houston recently published an article telling the exploits of another one of these Facebook groups called ‘Motor City Justice’. The group, run by one man, has 25,000 followers. I thought Detroit was Motor City, but I digress. Click2Houston’s headline read: “Vigilante pedophile hunters: Helping out or interfering?” Don’t even entertain the question. They’re interfering.
Our friendly neighborhood vigilante even went as far as going to a suspected predator’s home when he didn’t show up to the meeting and confronted him there. Considering this is Texas we’re talking about, our vigilante friend is lucky he wasn’t met with a 12-gauge greeting.
At first glance, some people may think that these groups are doing their community a service. In reality, the results are more harmful than beneficial. None of these confrontations have led to any criminal charges being pressed against the suspected predators. Any information gathered during these so-called stings is inadmissible.
As I’ve mentioned before, these yahoos have more a better chance of ruining a police investigation than doing any actual good. Meanwhile, the predator can simply move to another area and continue what they were doing in the first place. Without a proper conviction, the only thing these Facebook vigilantes are doing is garnering likes and clicks. Is this how we want justice to be meted?
While I’m no fan of any kind of sexual predator, let the police do their job before they arrest you for interfering in police business.