A few prominent Pokemon YouTubers have been accused of preying on minors. As it often goes, it started with one person coming forward, and afterwards, more people came forward claiming to be victimized by prominent members of the Pokemon community.
It’s really nothing new that some people misuse games and social media to attempt to take advantage of other people, but it’s still disappointing when it happens.
When it comes to the nature of the crimes committed, I know that it may not be popular to speak as a voice of reason, but it’s still important, considering that society would quickly break down if accusations (true or false) were allowed to run all over the place without scrutiny.
“And we can’t have that.”
So, considering what’s at stake, let’s be brave enough to use our heads. There are a few important points to consider as this and any similar drama unfolds.
First, accused does not mean guilty.
I don’t mean to make excuses for these guys in the event that they actually did sexually abuse a minor. If that were the case, I say throw the book at them. I’ve known a couple people who were sexually abused as children, and that’s the kind of thing that can mess a person up for a very long time.
However, people are capable of making stuff up, children included. If it turns out that at least one of the accused is innocent, this whole matter really sucks for them. Worse yet, it can ruin opportunities down the road, as their name will continue to come up in connection to crimes that they didn’t actually commit in web searches for years to come.
When it comes down to it, it’s for a court of law to determine innocence or guilt. We the public may be presented with convincing evidence, but the evidence has a lot of potential to have been doctored or be one-sided. Therefore, let’s not be too hasty to rush to conclusions, considering that we may not have the full story.
Second, if you really were a victim of sexual abuse, you need to take this information to the proper authorities.
By “proper authorities”, I mean “the police”, since law enforcement would have a better chance of stopping the predator and bring the person to justice than your Twitter audience, no matter how big the audience may be.
I know how hard it can be to come forward, considering that sexual predators usually intimidate their victims out of doing so. Making it harder still is that people don’t want to be known as the person who was victimized. Still, it’s very possible that the predator has other victims, no matter how things may seem. Because of this, it’s important to come forward.
To law enforcement, of course. Taking it to law enforcement would allow the victim to maintain their dignity and remain anonymous while an investigation can be conducted, and in the event that guilt is determined, justice may be served. On the other hand, taking it to social media comes off as a grab for attention, and law enforcement still might not get wind of it.
I know it sounds like I’m really laboring the point here, but bringing the matter to social media isn’t as productive as it may seem. People might be outraged and bang their pots and pans together, but the end result is likely the predator remaining free and picking the next victim just shortly afterwards. It’s law enforcement that gets results. Law enforcement.
Third, a few scummy people don’t define an entire community.
While we already know this, the corporate media is very predictable, and there’s a big chance that they will use this to make the case that the Pokemon community, or even gaming communities in particular, are populated by predators. We know that this is not the case, but old media tends to sensationalize things in an effort to get their audience interested.
If they pull this, just remember that they’re old media, and they don’t matter as much as they used to.
Old media makes bank off of mischaracterization, sensationalism, and outright libel. You don’t, so you have no incentive to do the same thing. Don’t be like them.
I know that there are other points to make, but that’s satisfactory for now. I’m interested in seeing how the drama unfolds, and in the outcome in the event that these YouTubers are taken to law enforcement. Come to think of it, have any of the accusers taken the matter to law enforcement? It’s kind of important that they do.