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Men's Rights Redditors flood Occidental College's online rape reporting form with false accusations

Last night, a regular commenter in the Men’s Rights subreddit — inspired by a thread on 4chan — posted a link to an online form on r/mensrights under the headline “Feminists at Occidental College created an online form to anonymously report rape/sexual assault. You just fill out a form and the person is called into the office on a rape charge. The “victim” never has to prove anything or reveal their identity.”

This headline is not only inflammatory but untrue: Yes, Occidental College has an online form that allows victims of or witnesses to sexual assault to report the incidents to the school. But, as a statement at the top of the form makes clear, the point is to collect data on how much sexual violence there is at the school, who the victims are, and so on.

If the person reporting the crime names the alleged perpetrator,

a member of the Dean of Students Office will meet with that person to share that the person was named in an anonymous report, review the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and inform the person that if the allegations are true, the behavior needs to cease immediately. Information shared in this form alone will not result in anyone going through the grievance process.

I’ve put the last bit in bold to emphasize a point: No one will be charged with anything based only on information gathered using this form. As would be clear to anyone who thought about the matter for more than a few seconds, it’s rather difficult to investigate, much less prove, a rape if you don’t actually know who the victim is.

Somehow this rather elementary fact eluded the OP, and virtually all of those who left the hundreds of comments on the popular post.

Indeed, a host of Men’s Rights Redditors were so convinced of the innate evil of the online form they all had the same bright idea: let’s flood the school with false reports of rape and break the form. Here are some of their comments. (There are more in the thread.) Note the number of upvotes each of these suggestions got. (Click the images to see the comments in context on Reddit.)

SirSkeptic 167 points 15 hours ago (209|45)  That's awesome.  I'd like to see one sent with the name of every member of the Dean of Students Office as the offender. Hey, it's anonymous and no evidence is required.  Sometimes that's the only way fanatics learn.

blueoak9 83 points 15 hours ago (129|46)  The quickest way to shut this one down is to anonymously report random women and let them sweat in the hot seat. This will be over before it begins.  How are they any less expendable, and more to the point, above suspicion that the men?  And if the school treats them any differently, there's your Title 1X complaint.

WhiteThrone 15 points 12 hours ago (24|9)  Step one: Get a list of every 'Feminist' at Occidental College who supported this system.  Step two: Anonymously report them for rape.  Step three: Watch them squirm as their lives are hanging in the balance over a false rape charge.  Step four : Shutdown the BS online form.

Jonathan_Taylor 26 points 11 hours ago (30|4)  I'd just like to say that I don't condone using the form to make false accusations against officials. Flooding the forms with other ridiculous things as a means to demonstrate how ridiculous the form is, on the other hand...

While a few commenters stood up to point out that in fact the school will not charge anyone with anything as a result of anonymous information gathered by the form, they were outnumbered by  Men’s Rightsers gleefully reporting that they in fact had reported false information. Among them:

froggymorning 46 points 15 hours ago (59|13)  I've already filled one out.      permalink     source     parent     save     give gold     hide child comments  [–]Muffinizer1 6 points 7 hours ago (9|4)  Was kind of fun. I swear to god though, if they track us down it would be terribly ironic, however it's mildly likely.

Your_Bacon_Counselor 5 points 6 hours ago (6|1)  Looks like there is an epidemic at Occidental, particularly female-on-female assault.  Even though most of these will be scrubbed, I promise the numbers will be kept and used to justify programs.

 

unexpecteditem 6 points 9 hours ago (11|5)  I like this. Where can I fill it in. I've been raped all over the place. Let's get submitting boys? Has anyone been raped by the dean of women's studies? Surely somebody. I find her a bit creepy.  I've also been raped by the president of the US. And of course by everyone I don't like. Heck, why don't I just go down the phone book. I've been raped by everybody. There. That ought to do it. Nothing like a practical demonstration of the absurdity of an idea.

gonecatfishin 8 points 11 hours ago (9|1)  Filling this out is fun!

It’s one thing to criticize an anonymous reporting system because of its potential for abuse; this is something else entirely.

The post has been up for 17 hours at this point, with more than 700 net upvotes, and some of the calls for “breaking” the form have been up for nearly as long. The moderators of Men’s Rights have done nothing to stop their subreddit being used to interfere with a school’s attempt to assist rape survivors — including men.

“Breaking” a school’s rape reporting mechanism is apparently a form of Men’s Rights activism.

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Mass Hysteria (@masshysteriaco)

So I emailed admissions (there’s no email for anyone else so I was just like, “Can you forward this to the appropriate person?”) telling them that this was happening, if they weren’t already aware, and that I hope they investigate and report this fraudulent behavior to the authorities. I wasn’t sure who I could report it to personally, if it even constitutes a crime because it’s not a false POLICE report, but so long as the school is aware, they could potentially take action. Hopefully they have a way to reverse track (though that is problematic for anon reporting so IDK if they do that) and will make reddit play ball in giving over info. It looks like mods are working right now to cover their tracks since many comments are deleted now.

Also, life in prison my ass. I heard about a guy today with 45 child/teen victims who only got 18 years.

And I can’t believe they’re still harping on “Big Red.” Their DREAM feminist caricature that was actually just a woman who was pissed off that she was being talked over, like most human beings are.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

Ew, gross. And OF COURSE ‘a voice for male students’ is literally THE FIRST COMMENT. And wow, look at all that bullshit in the comments. Ugh.

FromAfar
FromAfar
8 years ago

“And wow, look at all that bullshit in the comments. Ugh.”

And that is why I don’t read regular news sources with un-moderated comments. Even supposedly PC or progressive sites make me sad with all the horrible. So much horrible.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Hi @tessietura (and any other new commenters/lurkers). Welcome! Can you please try not to use words like “whackjobs” to characterize MRAs? What’s important about MRAs and their behavior is the asshole-ery. We don’t know whether or not they’re “crazy” — we know that what they do is wrong. Lots of people, even on this very blog, deal with mental illness without being assholes.

I know that words like “crazy” are thrown about very casually, but please try to remember how those attitudes create collateral damage for perfectly decent, kind, humane people who would never dream of shitting all over other people the way MRAs do.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Heavens, he’ll have the Reddit hounds and Elam’s fanboys after him for that.

Beethoven Is Grumpy Cat

At least he stood for what was right.

Catfish
Catfish
8 years ago

It would make more sense if they let male victims know about projects like these, so they can participate and get the help they need, if necessary.
But trying to prove that false claims are a problem by making false claims is more important than actually being a decent human being with some compassion and helping those in need.

Oh, silly me, the waves of falsely accused are the real victims who need their attention. What great humanitarians they are.

Snork Maiden
Snork Maiden
8 years ago

@Cloudiah, thanks for the above link, it was a cleansing read.

I do think it sad that so many reasonable and intelligent guys can’t seem to get proper support groups for men together without being hijacked by a bunch of misogynistic crapwits. The men contributing to the thread you linked to should start their own Reddit, subreddit, whatever the terminology is, though I doubt they’d last long, not without heavy moderation.

Mass Hysteria (@masshysteriaco)

@FromAfar This is one of the only comments sections I regularly read. It’s way to hard to resist raging on almost every other comments section, even many feminist ones. Right now I just wasted like an hour raging on the comments section of an interview that was pro-exploitative and abusive porn for the sake of a rich white woman’s arousal (whether or not said porn was created with consent is irrelevant because she was getting off). It’s like, I want to tell these people off because they need to be told off but I don’t know if it’s worth crushing my spirit over.

Jo
Jo
8 years ago

Leaving aside the awfulness of /r/mensrights making false rape accusations, can someone help me understand how an anonymous web form with real world consequences (even if it’s just being called into a meeting) is not a really bad idea?

I should say that I’m coming at this from the point of view of someone who was subject over a campaign of harassment in a work environment lasting several months. This included stealing / damaging my property, leaving threatening messages, ordering food etc. delivery in my name, sabotaging my work etc. All of this was done anonymously, which is one of the reasons it went on so long – HR is slow enough to act when there is concrete proof, let alone when there is only circumstantial evidence. For what it’s worth, although most people thought that the motive was prejudice (I’m a member of a minority group), I’m pretty sure it was simply personal animosity.

The perpetrator also tried to cause trouble for me by reporting me for theft of company resources etc., but since this was also done anonymously, HR were quite happy to ignore it and told me that they’d do the same to any future anonymous accusations.

I appreciate there is a reason why rape reports need to be handled with more care than other accusations, but when I read this, all I can see is the potential for misuse and be glad there wasn’t any such system available to my abuser. The internet is a pretty good example of how anonymity can amplify terrible behaviour.

Finally, I’m really really not defending what /r/mensrights did. Even if this form was the worst idea in the world, protesting it by making false allegations is yet another example of how awful the MRA movement is. I’m just finding it hard to see how this form isn’t a bad idea and I know that I have been wrong before about gender issues, so I’d appreciate any other perspectives.

Guest
Guest
8 years ago

This really, truly sickens me. And indeed. They’re just angry they can’t rape people. All their arguments and blathering are just pointless covers for that one fact.

lana
lana
8 years ago

Why would they want to stop a program that in affect gives the perpetrator a second chance?

Snork Maiden
Snork Maiden
8 years ago

Because they were too busy over reacting to actually read the document?

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

In lighter news, guess who’re ten whole months old today!

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

Huh. I had never heard of the Katrina Refrigerator(s) before. That is both awful and awesome all at once.

… and now I have a sad because Katrina.

FromAfar
FromAfar
8 years ago

@Mass Hysteria “It’s like, I want to tell these people off because they need to be told off but I don’t know if it’s worth crushing my spirit over.”

I hear that. Nothing gets my ire up quite like homophobia, but the few times I’ve decided to fire back at some of the worst comments I’ve stumbled upon, it was like no one even read the posts. I realized then that most comment sections, especially on news stories, is like walking into a mostly empty room, screaming your head off, then leaving. Nothing productive comes of it. Maybe you feel better if you just really needed to scream…

D.
D.
8 years ago

I did an image description/transcript as the comments you capped have been deleted.

SirSkeptic 167 points 15 hours ago (209 upvotes | 45 downvotes)
That’s awesome.
I’d like to see one sent with the name of every member of the Dean of Students Office as the offender. Hey, it’s anonymous and no evidence is required.
Sometimes that’s the only way fanatics learn.

blue0ak9 83 points 15 hours ago (129 upvotes | 46 downvotes)
The quickest way to shut this one down is to anonymously report random women and let them sweat in the hot seat. This will be over before it begins. How are they any less expendable, and more to the point, above suspicion than the men?

And if the school treats them any differently, there’s your Title 1X complaint.

WhiteThrone 15 points 11 hours ago (23 upvotes | 8 downvotes)
Step one: Get a list of every ‘feminist’ at Occidental College who supported this system
Step two: Anonymously report them for rape.
Step three: Watch them squirm as their lives are hanging in the balance over a false rape charge.
Step four: Shutdown the BS online form.

Jonathan_Taylor 26 points 11 hours ago (30 upvotes | 4 downvotes)
I’d just like to say that I don’t condone using the form to make false accusations against officials. Flooding the forms wiht other ridiculous things as a mens to demonstrate how ridiculous the form is, on the other hand…

MattBD 23 points 8 hours ago (23 upvotes | 0 downvotes)
I’m actually sorely tempted to throw together a script to bombard it with thousands of spurious, nonsensical complaints.

froggymorning 46 points 15 hours ago (59 upvotes | 13 downvotes)
I’ve already filled one out.

Muffinizer1 6 points 7 hours ago (9 upvotes | 4 downvotes)
Was kind of fun. I swear to god though, if they track us down it would be terribly ironic, however it’s mildly likely.

Your_Bacon_Counselor 5 points 6 hours ago (6 upvotes | 1 downvote)
Looks like there is an epidemic at Occidental, particularly female-on-female assault.
Even though most of these will be scrubbed, I promise the numbers will be kept and used to justify programs.

unexpecteditem 6 points 9 hours ago (11 upvoted | 5 downvotes)
I like this. Where can I fill it in. I’ve been raped all over the place. Let’s get submitting boys? Has anyone been raped by the dean of women’s studies?
Surely somebody. I find her a bit creepy.
I’ve also been raped by the president of the US. And of course bvy everyone I don’t like. Heck, why don’t I just go down the phone book. I’ve been raped by everybody. There. That ought to do it. Nothing like a practical demonstration of the absurdity of an idea.

gonecatfishin 8 points 11 hours ago (9 upvotes | 1 downvote)
Filling this out is fun!

pecunium
8 years ago

Occidental is a largish school, in a comfortable part of town (near a couple of regulars here). It’s had some serious problems with handling some egregious problems with sexual assault (some of it violent, like slashed with a knife violent). This is an attempt on the part of the administration to create a way to get a sense of the climate on campus.

And the MRM is against it.? Why? Because they believe all accusations are presumptively false.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Falconer — squee! My mother also goes squee and your twinsies. My brother says the kitty is cuter, seeing how he thinks she’s cute while clawing at him, don’t take that too hard!

cloudiah
8 years ago

Falconer’s babies! They’re getting so big.

alternatesteve90
8 years ago

@Tessietura: Welcome aboard!

“Instead they choose to apply most of their attention and ” activism” towards vilifying feminism and women in general. ”

Yeah, I’ve seen that too. Sadly, as much as I hate to say this, this also does kinda remind me of the people of certain less-than-scrupulous factions of the social justice movement who spend 90% of their time sh*tting on people who happen to be white(mostly for not being “radical” enough) instead of actually trying to bring attention to actual victimization of People of Color in this country(I write from the U.S., btw) and abroad.

However, though, at least we can also point out, that social justice is still a truly noble thing overall, despite the few bad apples, and that overall, most of us who consider ourselves fighters/allies/what have you remain good and noble people, even if sometimes a little flawed.

To be honest, however, I think we can all agree that it is the exact opposite for the “Men’s Rights” movement; the “bad apples” are, and always have been dominant, and the MRM was never about protecting men or boys but about getting back at feminists for the perceived “emasculation” of men, etc.

alternatesteve90
8 years ago

Also, my apologies to chibell1: I forgot to attribute the statement I quoted to you…..sorry about that. =)

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Oh FFS

And let’s keep this in mind: these “victims” apparently have absolutely no needs that extend beyond accusing. No need to request a rape kit to document precious evidence that would be lost with even the slightest passing of time. No desire to see a rapist punished for a felony offense.

No desire to protect other potential victims from the trauma of rape in the future. No desire for counseling. No need to make special classroom or housing arrangements because they might feel uncomfortable being in the same classroom as their rapist, or because their dorm is right next to their rapist’s

Nope, none of that. None of that is important to these rape accusers.

But what is important? This, and only this:

Just a desire to accuse a male student, in secrecy, of one of the most damnable crimes imaginable without anyone ever checking up on the accusers.

Yeah that totally makes sense. Only thing they need is to accuse (falsely, of course) some guy of “one of the most damnable crimes”, not wanting to file police charges means it’s fake. Forget how hard that is and what percent of claims are reported. Forget that plenty of scrape victims don’t need changes in housing/classes for the simple reason that they won’t cross paths with their rapist that way. Forget that getting counseling and filing the form are two unrelated things.

And, most of all, forget that these asswipes have no idea whether the people filing the complaints have done any of those things. But hey, let’s just assume they haven’t any needs related to their assault besides making an anonymous claim.

What fucking assholes.

dlouwe
8 years ago

Here’s avfm on the occidental college thing.

To quote part of a song from my favourite band:

All hail the knight of the verbal incontinence,
tilting against windmills into the night.
Inanimate objects, they do not pose a real threat.
Your objection will surely be noted as a historic account of an ignorant prick.

(The actual song is about religious homophobia, but hey, funny how descriptions of bigotry can be so interchangable!)

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