Recently, and also not quite recently, many people have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse by members of this quite diverse and close knit community. But where is the line drawn? Where does freedom of speech turn into slander? All these YouTubers, creators, who have been accused come from and live in countries which utilise the idea that one is innocent until proven guilty. This is not being applied in the current situation, which I feel is growing rapidly out of control. Yes, people have been accused, and yes, some have confirmed the validity of these accusations, but others have not. How can we, as a community, remain wary of these allegations, and acknowledge them, while justifiably giving the recipient the benefit of the doubt, as we, in an ideal democratic nation, should?
I do believe in ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and while creating a concerned and comforting environment for those who come forward is important, we should also remain wary of believing these allegations absolutely. In fact, in many of these allegations, the creator in question is yet to respond in person.
While I do believe in freedom of speech, and being able to report these kinds of things, there is a great danger in doing so. It is difficult, in court, to prove the accused’s guilt. There are many ways that they could get out of it. They didn’t intend for things to turn out as they did. It wasn’t a situation they perceived to be dangerous or intimidating.
You must carefully consider all legal options before you publicly accuse or denounce someone. If the person in question is found innocent, they can very well (justifiably) sue you for slander. In the case of these YouTubers, whose careers have effectively, and quite clearly, been shortened by such allegations, this would be detrimental, and would almost certainly result in monetary compensation to said creator.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone, justice can be served outside the courtroom, and people can be held accountable by people, not only by the law. BUT people don’t seem to understand that they can be held accountable for the things they say and do. Great weight is placed upon these allegations, and there doesn’t seem to be a balance.
I’ve thought about this a lot, and I really can’t figure out what would be the best option for people to take. I’m (clearly) not a legal professional.
What do you think?