You’ve probably heard of the hacker group Anonymous. They’re a group of hackers who say they hack in the name of good. They’re kind of everywhere, they’re pretty intimidating, and they often, despite their reputation, have pretty decent intentions. They recently exposed a group of gang rapists from Big Red High School in Steubenville, Ohio who drugged and raped a 16-year-old girl from a neighboring town.
The Anonymous hackers leaked a video of the “Big Red Rapists” bragging, laughing, and joking about the brutalities they inflicted on this girl. I’m not going to post the video because it’s seriously one of the most disturbing, unsettling, sickening, and downright horrifying things I’ve ever seen. The reason that hackers Anonymous and their subgroups released the clip is because despite the girl being assaulted and drugged by multiple people, only two were charged. Some people think that because many of the rapists were on the Big Red High School football team–a big deal in the Ohio Valley area–that the town has been covering up for their high school “heroes.” So you figure, these guys pretty much deserve what they’re getting, right?
Here’s where it gets a little messy, though. While Anonymous hackers released not only a video of the alleged rapists–who also reportedly tweeted about the rapes–they also released the addresses, phone numbers, and personal information of the accused rapists and their families.
While there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that everyone involved with this horrific crime needs to be brought to justice and punished to the fullest extent of the law, I’m not entirely sure this is the best way to do it. Anonymous said that they’d release the information if the rapists in the video and accused of being parties to the rape didn’t issue apologies to the victim, who will likely be scarred for life. But it may be pretty dangerous for the victim herself for Anonymous to launch a cyber attack on her attackers.
Let’s be real: The rape victim is likely incredibly traumatized by whatever it is went down, and rightfully so. But having everything drudged up in the media probably isn’t making her feel any better. I think it’s commendable and wonderful that she has so many people on her side, and I love that people are so passionate about bringing her some form of closure and relief in the matter–but this form of vigilante justice is likely not what she really needs right now.
There’s also the issue that, even with gross videos like this, at the end of the day, people are still innocent until they’re proven guilty. The appropriate move may have been to send this video to the authorities, not post it online for the entire world. And releasing the home addresses of these monsters is a little unfair to their families, who most likely didn’t know anything about the incident until the rest of the world did–and who, chances are, had nothing to do with it.
You can watch the video here at your own risk (it’s seriously horrifying) and learn more about the case here. These guys absolutely need to be brought to justice–but there has got to be a better, more fair way to do it.
Do you think the Anonymous hackers are doing the right thing by exposing the alleged rapists? Do you think the town is covering up the rape case because the alleged rapists are on the football team? Tell us in the comments.