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Thread: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Vasquez View Post
    Yes, right. I went and checked, in Finland "sexual harrassment" has been a legal term only since 2014! But I have never heard anyone being charged, let alone penalized for boob- or ass-touching, unless it's been somehow outrageously rough and repeated. Probably there are cases in the US for more random grabs, though.
    From what I understand, in the States it's the same -- it typically requires persistent or egregious behaviour. It's not sexual harassment unless it's either interfering with the victim's work in a serious way or it affects their career in some way (pay, benefits, status, etc). Though, things might differ between states.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trance View Post
    Reading this chilled me.
    She means that all accusers should be taken seriously, not something nefarious. That they shouldn't be presumed to be lying until they are proven to be.

  2. #27
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    And Dia has entered. Logical debate - Over. Enjoy it while it lasted guys. Emotion from here on. I'm out.
    That's a bit unfair.

    And if you can't hack the rough and tumble of chat you'll never learn anything. You're wrong about 'half' of cases being without merit too. I agree with you about people's lives being ruined sometimes though. There was a tragic case here some year ago; a young woman was murdered by a guy who seemed normal, and her landlord was suspected and vilified because he was 'weird' looking and a little eccentric. He was hounded by the media and eventually paid substantial libel damages.

  3. #28
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    And Dia has entered. Logical debate - Over. Enjoy it while it lasted guys. Emotion from here on. I'm out.
    Dia has made some pretty good points backed up with sources. It seems it's logical debate itself which has scared you off.

    SubJeff - what would you do to remedy the fact that an estimated 40% of rapes go unreported (same link as above)?
    Another question - does the issue of false accusation of men trouble you more than the fact that 40% of rapes go unreported?
    Also, what do you propose is done about cases which are literally not possible prove - where harassment or coercion has taken place, and the victims intimidated into silence, so they are only coming forward past the point where material evidence (swabs etc) are possible?

    (side note, no I did not read the other thread, I barely come to CommChat anymore because it seems to gradually be turning in a diluted mixture of r/theredpill and r/The_Donald. This thread in particular is giving me this awful feeling that my daughter might be growing up in a culture where the very rare occurrence of men being harmed by false accusations of sexual abuse is considered a bigger injustice than most women spending their entire lives being subjected to casual insinuations that they are other people's property, or that their entire behaviour should be analysed for traces of leading people on (clothes, body language, being friendly etc...) and being called whores by people who can't handle rejection etc...)

    Yes, there are some very sadistic and amoral women out there who will falsely claim sexual assault as a weapon against other men/women, but the idea that this should be the first consideration to be made when someone says they have been assaulted is childish, callous and as part of a compound social attitude, endangering many women by making them feel as though they can't come forward when it is their word against someone else's. Moreover, I think that the idea that such a thing is common enough to be a default assumption to be disproven, is incredibly misogynistic. It's incredible that 50% of the population are still being treated this way. To quote again from the article linked above:

    ...we are much more likely to disbelieve a woman if she says she was raped than if she says she was robbed, but for no good reason.
    It's a very similar pattern whenever systemic injustice is brought up.
    BlackLivesMatter - load of white guys vomiting out polemics about how it's not a real issue.
    Gay Pride - load of straight people whining about where's straight pride.
    International Women's Day - load of men whining about when's international men's day
    Lots of women suddenly feel emboldened by the #metoo movement to discuss their sexual abuse - loads of guys waxing lyrical about how there shouldn't be any consequences for their attackers unless they have a solid legal case

    Thinking about the last point, this would be opening the door that anyone can abuse someone in private, and as long as they don't leave material evidence (so a boob grab for example, or a crude solicitation, generally making a woman feel unsafe or uncomfortable to be in e.g. their place of work), they can just deny and carry on. The worst part? That is happening, a LOT. maybe I'm exposed to it more as I have a sister, have had quite a few girlfriends over the years and a lot of female friends, but I still find it nuts that men just don't seem to realise how much of a thing this is. I have friends who have been violently raped by people they considered friends, so now, if they find themselves in a situation where they are alone with a man who is making advances despite their expression of disinterest, they don't know if it will end in them having their life shattered again. There is no way to tell the difference between a guy who is trying to be persistent in a non-threatening way and one who is going to snap when he realises he won't be getting his way. Even worse, they get in a process of de-escalation, where despite them being 100% within their rights to refuse male attention, are instead having to learn the gentlest way to protect the guy's ego to avoid him becoming verbally of physically abusive, being called a prick-tease, or a whore etc...

    This is half of the population. When many of them are speaking up about years of systematic abuse ranging from casual sexism to violent rape, the last thing we need to be doing is panicking about how this fits with the notion of innocent until proven guilty on the part of their alleged attackers. Way before this, there needs to be an urgent analysis of where the nooks and crannies in our social culture are that provide spaces whereby this shit can happen over and over again. I'm not claiming to have all of the answers, however I'm pretty sure that "first let's make sure the guy isn't the victim" isn't the best starting point.
    Last edited by faetal; 16th Dec 2017 at 11:40.

  4. #29
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    She means that all accusers should be taken seriously, not something nefarious. That they shouldn't be presumed to be lying until they are proven to be.
    More often than not, these women are telling the truth. The question is, when does the accusation become actionable?

    If one woman comes in making claims, it's outright crass and reprehensible to assume she's lying, or doing it for attention. You have to take it seriously. But if all she has is her claim, how can you warrant taking the required extra steps to address it? It's an accusation that requires severe repercussions to be levied. You're all but moving to ruin someone's livelihood on the word of someone else who's claiming the same has been done to them.

  5. #30
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Do we prioritise protecting 2-12% of falsely accused men or the women whose accusations are 88-98% likely to be valid, while also maintaining a cultural milieu which sees around 40% of rapes from being reported?

    All systems will inherently carry the risk of false negatives and false positives - it is very rare to have one which is totally accurate.
    So the question is, how many female victims are we happy to throw under the bus to get the rate of upheld false accusations down to zero?

    Again, I don't know, but it's an important question.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    More often than not, these women are telling the truth. The question is, when does the accusation become actionable?

    If one woman comes in making claims, it's outright crass and reprehensible to assume she's lying, or doing it for attention. You have to take it seriously. But if all she has is her claim, how can you warrant taking the required extra steps to address it? It's an accusation that requires severe repercussions to be levied. You're all but moving to ruin someone's livelihood on the word of someone else who's claiming the same has been done to them.
    Prosecutors have to weigh the evidence and decide how likely it is to result in a guilty conviction. Generally, prosecution doesn't bring cases until they are reasonably sure that there's some chance of success. If it's just one person's word against another, then yeah, the chances are low. But still, this matters when the person is accused the next time with more evidence.

  7. #32
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    That's true in court, but we're discussing the #metoo movement, which is very much a social thing. There is no requirement for proof beyond a reasonable doubt here. An accusation could have just as much weight as damning proof.

    The only thing I can really say about it is that, overall, I think it's a great thing, probably long overdue. But let's not pave the road to hell with our good intentions, huh? Level heads and all that.
    Last edited by Renzatic; 16th Dec 2017 at 12:14.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Dia has made some pretty good points backed up with sources. It seems it's logical debate itself which has scared you off.
    My comment wasn't due to that, it was due to the previous debate that had been going on in the previous thread, then Dia entered and it all switched to one where debate couldn't really be done, and it all devolved into name calling and lot's of genitalia related insults and a lot of heated emotions which eventually resulted in the thread being closed. That I'm not interested in.

    In the spirit of debate though I'll answer one earlier comment/question:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dia View Post
    So, where's the justice for the victim whose life has been ruined because she couldn't produce photos and/or hospital reports or any other legally acceptable evidence proving that she had been raped?? You know, the victim who has to suffer the fact that everyone thinks she's (or he's) a liar now (and in some cases she/he loses their job and even friends) because too many people equate 'lack of evidence' with false charges? That same victim who also has to live with the fact that she/he has been horribly violated and assaulted but her/his assailant will go free due to lack of evidence? It's a two-way street, whether you like it or not.
    There is no justice on both sides of the coin. Everything you say in the above I COMPLETELY agree with. On one end you have the pain and torment genuine victims go through for the rest of their lives. But then you have those accused of a crime, life ruined, can't leave the house, have rocks thrown through their window so have to move to another city etc etc. And then proven to be innocent later on. Damage done. Life already ruined regardless. For them there is no justice either.

    So no'one wins in any of it. And I've never said that it wasn't a two way street. All I've been speaking on, is that those accused should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Otherwise it's just a witch hunt.
    Last edited by icemann; 16th Dec 2017 at 12:32.

  9. #34
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Lots of people were fucking stupid in that massive 300 car pileup with multiple fatalities of a thread. Some moreso than others.

    LET'S NOT REPEAT THAT HERE, ALRIGHT? KTHX?

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    This MoJ report 2012 has a figure of 12% of rape reports being false. 36/299 reported cases from a select set. There is no real definition of 'false' but even so, that's potentially at least 1 in 10 cases just serving no other purpose than wrecking someone's life.
    One report says 2% and one says 12% (nevermind the disclaimer in that report). But lets say it is 10%. Do you understand the exponential way it goes down with every accusation after? I'm one of the emotional ones on this subject so I'll bow out of further discussion but surely you can see how ones willingness to believe the accused goes down exponentially as well. Frankly after personal observation of mens behavior I don't see how other men can defend us so vehemently. For my part I'm well satisfied to accept my chances of being falsely accused if it means those wronged feel better about coming forward.

    I'll try to stay away from this thread when I'm drinking so that I don't post the exact amount of fucks I give quite literally.

  11. #36
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    SubJeff - what would you do to remedy the fact that an estimated 40% of rapes go unreported (same link as above)?
    Something entirely different, but that's for another thread.
    Another question - does the issue of false accusation of men trouble you more than the fact that 40% of rapes go unreported?
    No.
    Also, what do you propose is done about cases which are literally not possible prove - where harassment or coercion has taken place, and the victims intimidated into silence, so they are only coming forward past the point where material evidence (swabs etc) are possible?
    This is related to the first question. I'd hope we can stop the intimidation in the first place.
    Yes, there are some very sadistic and amoral women out there who will falsely claim sexual assault as a weapon against other men/women, but the idea that this should be the first consideration to be made when someone says they have been assaulted
    It shouldn't be the first consideration.

    The essence of balance is detachment. Seriously.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    Doesn't the Heath case prove this untrue?
    I don't know how anything of the sort can prove mathematical fact untrue; however this is a case where police found seven individuals whose allegations met the legal threshold to question Heath under criminal caution, were he still alive. You feel free to hang your hat on him if you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    No one said you were a court, I was challenging your 'happy to treat someone as guilty' is all. But if that's how you want to live your life, fine. I'm sure you can live with yourself
    Rather that than treating probable sex offenders as if they were innocent merely because the allegations haven't been tested in court.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by Tocky View Post
    One report says 2% and one says 12% (nevermind the disclaimer in that report). But lets say it is 10%. Do you understand the exponential way it goes down with every accusation after?
    He's shown no sign of understanding it thus far. The simple mathematical fact is that if you say the odds of one accuser making it up is 10%, that means the odds of two accusers independently making it up are 1%, of three 0.1%, and so on.

    I wonder what fraction of a percentage of probability you need to get to before SubJeff is happy to steer clear of an individual as a dodgy sort?

  14. #39
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Assuming no malice/fantasy, you would be correct IF those were odds.

    But they aren't. This is a maths fail for you both - that's just the prevalence of false accusations in that particular data set. It does not represent a mathematical prediction that can be used on individual cases.

    Of course I expect you to argue the toss about this until faetal or dema disabuse of the notion that you understand how numbers work.
    Last edited by SubJeff; 16th Dec 2017 at 14:54.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Innocent before proven guilty is a concept for crimes tried in a court. It means that it's up to the prosecution to prove a person's guilt and not up to the person to prove their innocence. It doesn't mean that the person is innocent, it just means that only the person's guilt is determined at court. Obviously, this doesn't apply to life outside of a courtroom.
    "Innocent until proven guilty" is not just a lofty concept for the legal system. It is at the very base of a free society. And the fact that you (and obviously not you alone) fail to grasp this and think it's perfectly fine to ignore it and dish out your own kind of justice or applaud it from the sidelines, shows a lack of understanding of the moral principle behind it.

    Meanwhile the fact is paraded around that only 2%-12% are found to be falsely accused. Where do you people think this is found out? It happens in criminal investigations and trials where this very principle is honored. Not on Twitter.

    Ultimately this discussion like so many these days is about truth. We know for a long time that actual truth is very hard to come by - sometimes impossibly so. People have interests, sometimes hidden, people experience the same situation in very different ways due to their previous experiences. Basically you cannot blindly trust anyone. That's why we've established a legal system to find out - not necessarily THE truth - but the best we can do, from as impartial a viewpoint as we can. After many painful centuries we've learned this to be the best way for everyone involved.

    I too empathize with the victims. But please don't use your well meant empathy to undermine this legal process. Someone's online record of a personal experience - no matter how harrowing - cannot simply be conflated with "the actual truth".
    It doesn't make you a better person to blindly believe anyone - accuser or accused - before investigations and sentencing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    We don't doubt victims of theft in the same way.
    Of course facts are much easier to establish if someone is holding a purse full of personally identifiable belongings than matters of consent where often one person's word stands against another's. But if we're not talking about a purse but just cash money, then yes, we do doubt alleged victims in the legal system.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    How am I trying to undermine the legal process? I have neither argued for vigilantism nor have I in any way indicated that the principle of presumption of innocence should be changed as far as courts are concerned. But it is also patently ridiculous to suggest that people should live their lives and form their opinions as if they were in a court of law. If you have been wronged by someone, you absolutely have the right to speak out, even if you don't want to or aren't able to take the person to court.

    Also, the issue is not whether facts are easier to establish or not. The issue, as faetal pointed out, is that a woman is sooner believed when she says she has been robbed than when she says she has been raped.

    Finally, neither I nor anyone else in this thread has suggested that the accusers should be blindly believed. All anyone has asked is that they should be taken seriously.
    Last edited by Starker; 16th Dec 2017 at 18:09.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Of course facts are much easier to establish if someone is holding a purse full of personally identifiable belongings than matters of consent where often one person's word stands against another's. But if we're not talking about a purse but just cash money, then yes, we do doubt alleged victims in the legal system.
    And we have to. Because otherwise someone could just say about you: "This guy stole my money!" And we'd simply believe them. That's the alternative.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    You are arguing for vigilantism when you suggest that innocent until proven guilty should not be honored outside of court. There's really no other way to take this.
    And the way you do it is that you make those internet accusations your own personal experience: "If you have been wronged by someone..."
    Well you haven't been wronged by any of them, have you? You're just empathizing with the accusers very strongly.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    This is why courts determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Nobody is believed automatically. But anyone coming forth with an accusation should be taken seriously. That's my argument.

    Also, actions have consequences even outside of court. If you masturbate in front of your colleagues, it is not vigilantism if people don't want to hire you any more.
    Last edited by Starker; 16th Dec 2017 at 18:30.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    I agree that any accusation should be taken seriously.

    Your masturbation case is not comparable to cases where one person's word stands against another's. And yeah, you should have to be sentenced for this before employers can use it against you. Otherwise it might as well be hearsay.
    Do you want to lose your career because of hearsay?

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Wait, when I say that innocent until proven guilty is not necessarily applicable outside of court, how am I arguing for vigilantism? If someone hurts your friend, you don't have to wait for a court decision to form an opinion of that person and maybe cut ties with them. That's what I'm saying. That doesn't mean you should take the punishment into your own hands.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Again, you're making it your personal experience. Now it's not you but your friend. Whom you will obviously believe more than some stranger.

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Imagine two strangers fighting in the street and you have to find out who started it.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    While a company cannot fire you without proof (such as testimony from your colleagues), nobody is obligated to hire you or to renew your contract.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Again, you're making it your personal experience. Now it's not you but your friend. Whom you will obviously believe more than some stranger.
    But that's the point. We are not in a court of law. These are examples of how we don't live our lives as if we were in a courtroom.

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