it doesn’t take much to single a male out as a sex offender these days. Before the Internet, the only way we knew who was the sex offender was in the news. Even then, many people may have missed the news story and not have known the person they were talking was a sex offender.
We don’t even need legal proceedings or the news to inform us about the latest sex predators. Moms on Facebook will flag men as sex offenders and quickly pass pics around for everyone to ID and be prepared for the worst. Social justice can have a very big impact on a persons life.
Cops may be the last to find out about sex offenses, after the social media firestorm breaks out. There is more of a sense of satisfaction to chastise a male as a sex offender immediately upon learning of their behavior. All that arrest and booking stuff isn’t well understood by most people, so why bother being concerned about the male suspect going through the legal process?
Cops aren’t exactly a very good warning system to other mothers. When a mom is in a fury, she will take it all upon herself to spread the word about a male suspect. It’s a strong protective rage like she’s a mother bear who knows how to use social media for justice. When she gets enraged, she can go into overdrive about her accusations and allegations.
Social media doesn’t care whether you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. It cares only that there is an angry accuser, with a story, and a suspect. Tell us that story on social media, add video or pics. Give us locations and the background information of what is going on. The more we find out, whether the information is true or not, the more we will talk about it. If it makes the news indirectly, then even more power to the cause.
By the time a story makes it to a major news center, the professionals will have already contacted the police to find out how they want to proceed with the incident. That doesn’t mean the mom will let go of her social media drive and let the cops take it from there. It only means that the social media firestorm has spread further into authorities hands who react to the situation like politicians.
Cops need to keep up an image of being at the forefront of a criminal case. After a social media circus of allegations, it’s the cops who people depend on to find out the truth of the matter. They need to keep the peace. Where are the victims? Who is the accuser and who is being blamed? They have to see through all the noise of social media and ignore the bystander reactions until the situation is under control.
The accused may be shamed and not be in a good position to defend themselves while backed up against the virtual wall. Anything they may try to say can generate a snarky remark from a friend of the accuser. It’s like a social media witch hunt sometimes. Beliefs and ideas can get out of control quickly.