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cockswain's avatar

Should Fluther ban admitted pedophiles?

Asked by cockswain (15186 points ) April 21st, 2010

If someone admits they are a pedophile, should Fluther continue to allow them to post their thoughts on the site? Is it unethical to ban them because it restricts their freedom of speech and we can learn from their perspective, or are they just so sick that we wish they wouldn’t contaminate our threads with their warped thoughts?

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37 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I think discussing a crime violates the ToS

Jude's avatar

I personally don’t want to read anything that they have to say (anymore). But, that’s just me.

Ban them? No. But, you do have the option of not clicking on any of their questions. You also have the choice of whether or not you want to read or respond to any of their posts.

I’m steering clear..

netgrrl's avatar

Aren’t there underage people on here? It would make me nervous. Other websites have had no problem banning known sex offender. I’m ok with it.

ragingloli's avatar

Being a paedophile =/= child molester. Paedophilia is a sexual attraction to children, not the actual act of molesting a child. The former may lead to the latter, but the two are not equal as the latter may not be a result of the former.
So no, Fluther should not ban admitted paedophiles as long as they are not discussing the actual act of child molestation, just as conservatives should not be banned because of being conservative but because of behaving like an arse.

ubersiren's avatar

@ragingloli I agree 100% and was going to say the same thing. I think this is confused a lot, unfairly.

Edit: I agree except for the conservative thing. I don’t think all of them act like arses, and I don’t think all liberals are gems. :)

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think anyone should be banned on the basis of admitted beliefs, but only in terms of their behavior on the site.

ragingloli's avatar

@ubersiren
About conservatives: I did not intend to imply that they all behave like arses, my apologies.

wundayatta's avatar

How does banning help anything? Do we know if “admitted” pedophiles are really pedophiles? Do we know if everyone who has not admitted to pedophilia are really not pedophiles? And if admitted or not, has the pedophile ever done anything about it? If they’ve acted out, have they been convicted as a result?

If you ban anyone for anything they say, they can easily come back in another identity. This is an anonymous website that preserves anonymity fairly well. We don’t have to have registered accounts that ask for more than an email address for verification.

Anyway, it should come as no surprise that I think pedophiles should not be banned, mainly because it is a useless, purely symbolic gesture. As such, it is also highly cynical. If we want to do anything to help the problem, I’m sure engaged dialog would be much better than excommunication.

Fred931's avatar

@kevbo My mother literally is a pediatrician…

AstroChuck's avatar

Why would you want to ban someone just because they really like feet?

kevbo's avatar

@Fred931, you must have had an awful childhood! ;-)

DominicX's avatar

Are they just so sick that we wish they wouldn’t contaminate our threads with their warped thoughts?

That’s just the Pedophile Hysteria (PH) phenomenon.

No, we shouldn’t ban them. Being a pedophile is not a crime. As @ragingloli said, there is a difference between being a pedophile and a child molester. The latter is a crime, the former is not.

cockswain's avatar

@jjmah @wundayatta @ragingloli Fluther has two new admitted pedophiles, and I hate them because they are pedophiles. I don’t think this is closed-minded like hating a gay person or a black person. Regarding the statement “don’t click on their questions”, I asked a question about pedophilia and priests and the sick pedophile fuck answered my question.

Regarding “Do we know if “admitted” pedophiles are really pedophiles?”, I can only take them at their word when they say:Speaking for myself, I don’t feel like there was ever a point where I was “turned into” a pedophile; I feel I’ve always been one.

I get you can argue what should I expect when I ask a question about pedophiles, but I’m really sickened by them and don’t want to converse with them. As a result, I don’t want to respond to discuss my own fluther question.

If you haven’t seen this recent thread, read the statements by Matt L and Jason Smith and let me know how you feel after hearing their view of children and how sexually attracted they are to them.

In a nutshell, I don’t want to talk to or hear from pedophiles. If I did I’d visit NAMBLA’s website. Generally I’m very open-minded about nearly everything, but this just turns my guts over and fills me with anger.

netgrrl's avatar

Frankly, I’m amazed there’s even any wiggle room on this question. There’s hopefully no argument that pedophilia is against everything in our societies morals.

Children cannot consent.

I can accept that maybe an admitted pedophile has never laid a hand on a child, but would I trust that?

Not to be around my child or any other children.

I’ll go so far as to admit that my work as a rape crisis counselor certainly has affected my views on the subject. I’m fortunate that I don’t see sexual assault victims younger than 14, because that becomes a matter for DHS.

But make no mistake: we are talking about potential physical and/or emotional sexual terrorism of an underage person.

Just because a person hasn’t engaged in actual sexual contact with a minor doesn’t mean there has not been emotional damage. Insofar as I’m concerned, emotional damage to a child can be just as damaging—making the child “feel creepy” or unsafe is just as scary to them.

ubersiren's avatar

@netgrrl Pedophilia is not the same as child sexual abuse or child molestation.

There’s no telling if anyone has laid a hand on a child. Simply being a pedophile shouldn’t automatically give you the guilty label. You can’t assume anything, here. We’re not the thought police and we can’t judge people based on no information. There could be a murderer on fluther. How do we know? If someone has admitted that they’ve thought of killing someone (and who hasn’t?) should we assume that he will go through with it?

netgrrl's avatar

As I said, there’s a larger question than just the absence of physical abuse. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a zero tolerance issue.

kevbo's avatar

We should probably also include admitted supporters and funders of physical and emotional sexual terrorism (i.e. teh Catholics).

ubersiren's avatar

@kevbo Yes. Warning! If you’re a priest, you should probably just go ahead and get off fluther now and join NAMBLA, you sick bastard.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Well it’s not like they can jump out of your monitor and touch your kids

kevbo's avatar

@ubersiren, for every priest there are dozens of old ladies putting money in the collection basket!

cockswain's avatar

@Michael_Huntington No, but do you want to actually talk to one about their feelings and attractions? Can you feel “normal” having a discussion with someone when you know this guy would love to screw a kid?

ubersiren's avatar

@cockswain It may be interesting to someone who has been curious about pedophiles. Or useful to someone who should learn more about someone they’re ignorant of. :) Or, what if this one pedophile asks a question to start a discussion on fluther which helps him avoid acting on his temptation?

liminal's avatar

@cockswain I wouldn’t be surprised if either of the two people you reference have primary fluther accounts and simply created alternate ones in order to express that part of their persona.

SeventhSense's avatar

I don’t think so. But like anyone else they have to be ready for whatever response comes down the pike.

wundayatta's avatar

@cockswain and @netgrrl If pedophilia is the problem you say it is, why wouldn’t you want to talk about it? The only way I know to change behavior is to educate them. You can’t provide any education if you don’t know who you are talking to. I would think you would welcome the opportunity to educate people, rather than trying to push the people (and the issues) under the rug.

Also, despite your feelings about the topic (which are understandable), I think that people with abhorrent views still need to be heard. We need to know what is going on out there and what they are thinking and what they do with their thoughts and how they go about doing what they want to do. If we don’t know what they are thinking, we can’t do much to prevent actions that might hurt our children.

It is extremely important, I believe, to give even pedophiles a safe space to talk about who they are and why they are. It may sicken you, but that’s no reason to ban them. There are plenty of people here who sicken me, but you don’t hear me calling for their expulsion, nor do you find me calling them names or generally trying to make their lives hell. I save that for people…. ah well. I’m not sure I do that. I don’t want my comments to be moderated.

In any case there are plenty of ways of telling someone how awful they are without calling them names. You just talk about what behaviors you disapprove of and why you disapprove of them. It’s not difficult to convey the depth of your disgust for them if you do that. And much more effective than name calling, I find.

cockswain's avatar

@wundayatta You make a lot of great points. Let me comment on several individually:

The only way I know to change behavior is to educate them

What chance do we have of that? Maybe some of us are psychologists, but the majority aren’t. I’d feel just as qualified to be a life coach for Richard Speck.

If we don’t know what they are thinking, we can’t do much to prevent actions that might hurt our children.

Excellent point. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

There are plenty of people here who sicken me, but you don’t hear me calling for their expulsion, nor do you find me calling them names or generally trying to make their lives hell.

But I’m not just talking about your average redneck, asshole, or thief. I’m talking about the sickest of the sick, among the most heinous and vile monsters in our civilized society. I completely agree with your point about name-calling in almost every other discussion, but I feel this subject transcends the common interaction.

You just talk about what behaviors you disapprove of and why you disapprove of them. It’s not difficult to convey the depth of your disgust for them if you do that.

I disapprove of pedophilia and can’t summon the words to convey the depth of my disgust. I mean I hate them more than the KKK and men who assault women. I put them down there with the most vile torturers around. I don’t want to hear someone tell me why they torture people.

But the general logic of your point isn’t lost on me. The world is full of these people and understanding them could yield some positive results in how to deal with them. Possibly it will be found one day to be a sometimes treatable disorder like depression.

netgrrl's avatar

@wundayatta I agree it’s an emotionally charged issue for me, both because of my work with the Rape Crisis Center and the fact that I am an incest survivor. While I am sure that my feelings have been very clear, I have done my best to discuss it without calling names, nor have I gone after anyone individually. Even in real life, if I met someone who admitted to me he was a pedophile, sex offender, etc, I would have to distance myself from them as easily as possible. No, I would not want to discuss the situation with them.

I sincerely hope they are getting the right help for their problem, but I am not the one to help them. It doesn’t matter a hill of beans what I say to them.

But again I am going to say that pedophiles can damage a child without ever laying a hand on them in a sexual way. Such exploitation, even involving no touching, can destroy the child’s trust that the adults in his or her life will not harm them.

Obviously I have no control over the access any website grants someone like this. But any forum that allows minors on it, in my opinion, has a duty to keep that forum as safe as possible for them. If that means banning someone who has admitted to being a pedophile, I am ok with that. The forum in question doesn’t need to know what the pedophile is thinking, it just needs to do what it can to protect the minors on the forum. As I said, I feel the safety of children is always the first consideration.

I didn’t know until today that there were people on here that were admitted pedophiles. Since I found out, I have purposely avoided looking up their posts others have mentioned here because I have no desire to participate in a post written by someone who is a pedophile. That much, I can do.

With that, it’s probably best I take myself out of any further discussion that follows here. I can’t help the way I feel, but I’ve said all I can on the subject.

wundayatta's avatar

Honestly, I don’t see how you can exclude anyone who really wants to get on. Say we excluded children. They could just claim to be 18 or whatever age the bar was set at. Say we excluded Christians or Republicans, all anyone would have to do is to not claim to be one of those things, even if they were. Excluding pedophiles is simply impossible. The only thing you can do is what @netgrrl does—vote with your feet, so to speak. Refuse to talk to someone who is an admitted pedophile.

We all want a safe place to play. That’s what the moderators are for—to make sure everyone plays by the rules. If we do that, we should be able to keep the place safe, and enable people to do what they need to to care for themselves.

belakyre's avatar

I think that regardless of anyone’s history, whether they are a Nobel Prize winner or a serial killer, they are still human and should be able to at least enter a site. It is only when they behave badly on a site when the banner hammers should go out.
I think with our moderators, even an extreme sociopath would have a hard time trolling here.

Oh and if you didn’t catch the first sentence…
Pedophiles are human too

mattbrowne's avatar

No, if they admit its morally wrong seeking advice how to deal with the problem.

Val123's avatar

Ban them.

cyn's avatar

First of all, by signing up for the internet, there is a pretty visible label that states that the internet contains such people- either stalkers, child molester, pedophiles…it goes on and on! Even on the social websites, you see these guidelines that are pretty clear about what you should not do and be aware of certain things. And yes there could be emotional trauma, but from the internet? That seems obscene; you signed up for it, you know the consequences! Especially if you gave out personal information and yes, some people are just creeps and find out private information either way- there’s no surprise. Has there been such a case where pedophiles stalk and damage kids physically by the internet? Not that I know of. And yes, pedophile is not the same as a child molester(stated above many times^). Get the words/definitions straight! I don’t agree about banning the pedophiles. Honestly, they’re not hurting me(I am a child). And if you feel if someone is threatening or hurting you emotionally, you send a message to the authorities…

cockswain's avatar

“Has there been such a case where pedophiles stalk and damage kids physically by the internet?”

Seriously?

keobooks's avatar

On a website that is no longer in service, but I participated in for years, we had a self admitted pedophile on the site. He was an outspoken member of NAMBLA and would frequently talk about things like—12 year old children can consent to sex and should be allowed to. It made a lot of people uncomfortable and they wanted him banned. But he wasn’t breaking any site rules, and they let him stay on—though he frequently got flamed and harassed about it.

One thing—his being so outspoken made him “safe”—relatively speaking. He was upfront about being a pedophile. He wasn’t sneaking around, trying to covertly seduce people or pretending to be friends with kids but he had a secret ulterior motive. I believe that even kids knew to stay away from him.

He did end up trying to track down a teenage girl and tried to get her to give away information about herself so he could go meet her and have a romantic fling with her. She was a smart kid and sent the messages to a moderator—who perma banned him. It was one thing to talk about pedophilia on the boards, but another to actually attempt to engage in it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@netgrrl Aren’t there underage people on here? Are these underaged people barred from accessing [NSFW] and other more risque threads? Half of the time you don’t know the age or sex of the person unless you have interchange with them over time. And that is what the flagging feature is for.

I say the only person to ban is those advocating harm or hate on others not just disagreeing with their views. If someone for instance was saying the only Jew was a dead Jew and gas them all type of stuff, ban them. If they were saying poor people should go rob the rich and smoke them SOBs after taking their Cartier watch, ban them. So long as you are not trying to rally people to break the law, let freedom reign.

But they really should bar underage people from [NSFW] threads.

Fred931's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Yes, because I don’t didn’t want to know what that thing in a vag that feels like a nose is just yet.

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