Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Warriors for Innocence

Possibly my last rant.

Hypocrites for indency

There exists a vigilante group that is called Warriors for Innocence. Today they claimed responsibility for the deletion of 500 journals and communities at LJ.

The fact that most of these deleted journals were fandom sites, incest survivor sites, journals dedicated to literary discussion of the work of nabakov, and in a few cases fashion sites is unimportant to them. What mattered to them was that somewhere out there there might have lurked a pedophile.

At a time in this country when we are busily decrying civilian casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have an example of people who have no care for the emotional and literary civilian casualties of an action that carried with it symbolic overtones of the callousness toward the innocent perpetrated in the name of the innocent that we are seeing elsewhere in the world.

What happened is simple.

Two months ago, WFI singled out LJ for action and posted about it on their site. I am certain that the real pedophiles immediately either cleaned up their act or vanished into the shadows. After all WFI had fired a warning shot that gave them plenty of time to get out of Dodge.

As far as I can discern, Six Apart/Livejournal was simply provided with a list of trigger words and then turned loose to do a random search and deletion of all journals and communities that had those words listed either on their posts or their profiles.

And, frankly, that was the only way it might have been achieved, considering how large LJ is.

It was like using a twelve gauge shotgun as a fly swatter.

There are two kinds of people. Those who believe that the end justifies the means. And those who believe that the means must be honorable, otherwise the cost of achieving the end is too great a price to pay.

One of Neitzche's most famous quotations is "Those who hunt monsters, must take care not to become monsters themselves."

By that definition, Warriors for Innocence have joined the ranks of the monsters.

It is not their goal that offends me. It is their way of achieving that goal.

Their gross insensitivity to the rights, needs, and freedoms of so many innocents is a terrible thing.

Blackstone's formulation is at the root of our own democracy and due process of law. It states "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

And yet, here we have an organization (I suspect it is actually a very small group of individuals) who would rephrase that wise and merciful dictum and say instead "better that ten innocent people suffer, than one guilty person go free."

When justice becomes unjust, by what right can anyone ever again call it justice?

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