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Innuendo thrives on the web

November 4, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

I was recently kicked off of a website known as prinniefied.com. that is conducting its own investigation into a recent scandal involving an alleged rape. I was ejected from the site because I questioned the credibility of the owner of the site and some of those who post there. There is danger in the way this site is run because rumors and innuendos are treated as fact. Many post their interpretation of rumors they have heard on the street or from the posts by Prinnie her or himself (undetermined gender). Prinnie has a talent for searching cyberspace for previously posted tweets. She or he reaches into the past and pulls out tweets ranging from one word to a couple sentences and gives interpretations as if her or his assumptions are fact, and then some of the loose cannons on this site elaborate and polish a brand new rumor which is used to hate an individual and label them a scumbag.

Several who post there already have their minds made up that the entire football team is somehow involved in this crime. They are also convinced the staff, faculty, school board and the justice system are covering up or sidetracking the investigation. These people are posting total innuendo, and when I called them on it, I got accused of defending the perpetrators of this crime.

I questioned one poster with the web name of Bazanga for proof that all football players have some pertinent knowledge of the rape and aftermath. In a later post I had said that I had talked to the father of one of the Big Red players who told me that he questioned his son and was satisfied that his son wasn't at the party and had no involvement of any kind in the aftermath. My post was followed by many responses referring to my friends' son as a scumbag and making the statement that the BCI had taken his phone. They had no idea whom they were talking about - I had never mentioned his name. This Bazanga person made the assumption that the person with whom I spoke was the father of one of the kids who has been associated with an inflammatory tweet and who, according to Prinnie, has had his phone confiscated.

This site supposedly took this rape incident to help guarantee that this young girl gets the justice she deserves. While this is a noble goal, this site has lent itself to character assassination and has begun to resemble a lynch mob.

Prinnie fails to substantiate claims garnered by clips of tweets, some of which are vile and vulgar but provide no evidence of guilt. Prinnie also fails to encourage her or his followers to avoid innuendo and provide evidence for their accusations. The danger with this type of media is that it places innocent people and their reputations in jeopardy for no reason other than to juice up this gossip column.

Joe Scalise

Steubenville

 
 

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