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Thread: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

  1. #126
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    My issue is these systems favour the putative victims over the putative perps, and this it's just not equitable.
    Unless it's been shown that, for example only 2-12% of claims wind up being false. Then it's absolutely equitable.
    Giving every guy benefit of the doubt on innocence is fucking over the 88-98% of assaulted women in order to protect 2-12% of men, while also telling the estimated 40% of unreported rape victims, to continue shutting the fuck up, because we're tilting just a liiiitle further in our favour, culturally speaking. It's like saying that creating a bigger safe space for rapists is worth it so that we can get that 2-12% down to zero.

    Favouring the putative victims is the right call, in probabilistic terms. Favouring the accused is flipping the coin and taking the less likely option, for the ultimate purpose of achieving what exactly?

    This debate keeps lapsing into rhetorical statements, embedded in emotionally gratifying terms like "innocent until proven otherwise", while basically ignoring the nuances such as the quantitative aspect of the entire topic being that false accusations are in the vast minority. The risible notion that there is a system which somehow eliminates all false positives and negatives, and it starts with protecting men, seems to still be being touted.
    There are going to be false positives (2-12%), there are a huge amount of false negatives (rape conviction rates are extremely low, as it is incredibly difficult to prove). Hiding behind the rhetorical barrier of comparing phrases ignores the real life numbers. If you push the equilibrium to prioritise falsely accused men, you are likely going to increase the false negatives, and likely create a backpressure to coming forward about sexual assault that will see that 40% rise further too.

    Also, at the risk of being a repetitive bore - why are women less likely to believe when claiming rape versus robbery? This is a pretty important point.

    All seems to be sidestepped in order to fall back into rhetoric, which I appreciate is easier to digest and sounds snappier, but doesn't describe anything outside of your own mental model. Analogies and appeals to the legal system are all well and good, but they ignore the quantitative aspect and lest we forget, we aren't debating a change to the legal system here - the premise of the topic is whether or not the #metoo movement is a worry on account of the risk of false accusations being taken too seriously and ruining lives. I'd say that on balance, the answer is a resounding no.

  2. #127
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I think faetal just ended the argument.

  3. #128
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: Location, Location
    If anything, he demonstrated that there isn't going to be an end to this argument. Aside from external intervention or sheer exhaustion, that is.

  4. #129
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Maybe you're not thinking this through, faetal. If I accused now of sending me unsolicited dick pics, you demand that everyone believes me, even on risk of falsely banning you from TTLG in the end. Which would be the most harmless consequence.
    Do you want to try this, faetal? Because I'm totally up for it. Or will you just admit here and now that you were being a bit stupid?

  5. #130
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    Quote Originally Posted by Dia View Post
    Nothing like a little comic relief. So glad to see you boys have such a wild and wacky sense of humor.

    /s
    I thought we had no sense at all.

    (...and how do I get in on some of that dick pic action?)

  6. #131
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I'm just not enough for you anymore am I? You have to go looking elsewhere.

    Sigh. We'll always have Brokelookingglass Mountain.

  7. #132
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Unless it's been shown that, for example only 2-12% of claims wind up being false. Then it's absolutely equitable.
    Giving every guy benefit of the doubt on innocence is fucking over the 88-98% of assaulted women in order to protect 2-12% of men, while also telling the estimated 40% of unreported rape victims, to continue shutting the fuck up, because we're tilting just a liiiitle further in our favour, culturally speaking. It's like saying that creating a bigger safe space for rapists is worth it so that we can get that 2-12% down to zero.

    Favouring the putative victims is the right call, in probabilistic terms. Favouring the accused is flipping the coin and taking the less likely option, for the ultimate purpose of achieving what exactly?
    For the ultimate purpose of living in a society where we all don't have to be afraid of being called upon to prove our innocence in a kangaroo court of public opinion.

    Faetal, I know you're a smart guy, but I don't think you're really being consistent here. All felony crimes have an extremely low false accusation rate. The number of people accused of rape, murder, robbery, or any other felony crime who aren't justly found guilty of it are dwarfed by the number of people who are. In strictly probabilistic terms, we would punish more murderers than innocents if we favored the accusers over the accused. Your logic seems to consider that optimal through a simplistic mathematical calculus, but I don't think most people would agree- no compassionate society uses flipping a coin as an operational analogy for its justice system.

    There's room for nuance when it comes to public opinion. Weinstein is almost certainly guilty of sexual assault. OJ Simpson killed Nicole Brown. There's such a preponderance of evidence in either case that we can speculate on the most likely outcome and feel pretty confident that we're not doing a disservice to an innocent person. But it's when you have less overwhelming evidence, fewer people reporting, and eventually in the case of one person's word against another's, that it gets dangerous to start making individual assumptions while appealing to broad statistics. Whether it's sexual assault or robbery, we favor the accused over the accuser despite an overwhelming likelihood that the accuser is telling the truth, in the interests of protecting the innocent. I've yet to see any substantive argument for why sexual assault or rape are unique such that they ought to be treated differently, for why punishing those wrongly accused of sexual assault is more societally acceptable than punishing those wrongly accused of any other crime. Because that's basically what you and others seem to be saying.

    Like I've already said, there is no reason why sexual assault victims should be belittled, shamed, attacked, threatened, blacklisted, or otherwise treated any differently from reporters of any other sort of crime, and I don't think anyone in this thread has disagreed with that sentiment. According to RAINN, a widespread belief that the police won't take a claim seriously is the second-highest reason rapes go unreported, and that needs to change. I think sexual assault victims should be assumed to be acting in good faith until proven otherwise, as with any other sort of crime, and there's no reason women should be believed less than reporting rape than reporting robbery. But at the same time, I think the people they accuse should also be considered innocent until proven otherwise, as with any other sort of crime.

    Basically I just don't see the logic for treating sexual assault differently from other forms of crime, when no substantive difference has been given. Low false positive rate? Same for most felonies. Low conviction rates? For rape, not once the case reaches trial. The issue seems to be bringing it to trial, due to a culture of shaming and disbelieving accusations, so why is eliminating those social factors and bringing the treatment of sexual assault in line with other crimes not enough?
    Last edited by catbarf; 21st Dec 2017 at 21:34.

  8. #133
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    I wish I knew how to quit this place.

  9. #134
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Don't leave, Queue! You're the only person who isn't angry around here anymore!

  10. #135
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    2 points Catbarf:

    1) The "you're a smart guy" rhetoric is an empty debating tactic, and ultimately meaningless unless I accept that you are in a position to quantify how smart I am (plus vice versa of course, hence I won't be telling you how smart you are). It is usually employed to add undue weight to a position, which isn't afford by its dialectical content, so perhaps refrain from that in future - condescension only works if the person you are addressing presumes your superiority on the topic. Maybe that's not what you are doing there, but I rarely see that sentence add anything of value, regardless. I'm not here so people can appraise my intellect.

    2) You seem to have ignored the part of the link you used which shows that sexual assault reporting AND conviction are disproportionately low versus other crimes. This is precisely the part of my post which I am being repatitive with. Why are people less llikely to be believed when reporting rape versus robbery? Especially when the false accusation rate is found to be so low. I don't get how I'm being called inconsitent when my main contribution to this thread has been increasingly exasperating repitition of the same points. For your second link, I would not link The Telegraph which is an obnoxious, rold-fashioned ight-leaning rag, but perhaps use the report it refers to, since I'd be astounded if there hasn't been some editorial slant there. If you were using weighted search terms and the Telegraph was the link which proves your point, that's a bit of a red flag for bias. Proving points with source material is kind of what I'm trained to do as a career, so these things are realtively easy to spot.

    Lastly, since you've basically met my argument with yet another wall of rhetoric, only pausing to add numbers which already agree with what I am saying, I am not sure how you think you've returned my part of the debate here. You've more or less said "Here are indeed numbers which show that what you are saying is correct", plus some rhetorical points about how you don't like what I've said (and the aforementioned appeal to condescension).

    So, to return to the central point here, the metoo campaign, along with a more long-running trend of bringing more attention to the barrage of sexual harassment and abuse that many women have come to accept as normal (see http://everydaysexism.com/ for a good example), is specifically seeking to address the specific issue that in a world still run more by men than women, at almost every stratum of society, women are taken less seriously than men when it comes to the simple matter of who their body belongs to. It just happens that this central point is fantastically exemplified by Hollywood, whereby some of the powerful men seem to think that being a gatekepper for other people's success, means you can turn up at people's hotel rooms, demand a variety of sexually inappropriate acts, and then hold someone's career hostage until they do it anyway, for example.

    I think anyone would need to be stupid too, to not see this as the fine tip of a very large iceberg, and yet the biggest problem that some people are seeing, is that maybe some men somewhere have been falsely accused and it has ruined their lives. Of course that is an issue, it's just a much smaller one. I don't think calling out for even more scrutiny and "believe the man first" tactics is a benign move here, I think it originates in misogyny. Like making a public statement about being raped or assaulted is somehow trivial. Of course I don't think that all accusations should result in conviction, but I also think that saying "shut up unless you have proof" hurts 88-98% of the abused, to protect 2%-12% of the accused. If women are worth less tha men, this migt make sense, but it doesn't.

    [EDIT] Sorry for typos - I'm using the French version of FireFox, can't install custom dictionaries due to no admin rights and the whole thing is red underlined everywhere the word doesn't coincide with French.
    Last edited by faetal; 22nd Dec 2017 at 08:24.

  11. #136
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Maybe you're not thinking this through, faetal. If I accused now of sending me unsolicited dick pics, you demand that everyone believes me, even on risk of falsely banning you from TTLG in the end. Which would be the most harmless consequence.
    Do you want to try this, faetal? Because I'm totally up for it. Or will you just admit here and now that you were being a bit stupid?
    Since we are only aware of each other via this forum, I'm pretty sure that it doesn't equate. You would have screen caps, or you wouldn't.

    You think that this is a good analogue for a person forcing themselves on another person IRL?

    Tell me more about how stupid I am though, please.

  12. #137
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    Don't leave, Queue! You're the only person who isn't angry around here anymore!
    Aye. I've practically never yelled at anyone in this place. Well once I told off a guy who made a racist comment about Aussies. But that's about it for me really.

    *shakes fist*

  13. #138
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Faetal, I sincerely apologize for coming across as condescending. I only meant that we've had thoughtful conversation on serious topics before, and I genuinely value your opinion.

    However, I don't think you addressed anything of substance in my post. On the contrary, you make points (like the lower reporting rate for rape) that I explicitly already stated, and then qualified exactly how I think should be addressed.

    I'll say it again, because every time I do it seems to be ignored: Sexual assault and rape allegations need to be taken seriously, properly investigated, and brought to trial. Currently those crimes aren't treated the way other crimes are treated, and that needs to change.

    What I can't understand is your justification for then going a step further and treating sexual assault differently from other crimes, with different standards of evidence and different public treatment, and predicating the justice of this outcome on a numerical principle that is demonstrably inconsistent with how Western society treats all other forms of crime.

    You haven't answered this point. You've just repeated your same side of the rhetoric, repeated societal issues that I've already acknowledged and wholly agree are a problem, straw manned positions I never held (where did you get 'shut up unless you have proof' from my posts?), and then started speculating about my motives.

    It's rather frustrating to go to the effort of typing out why I think protecting a few innocents is more important than punishing a greater number of the guilty, and explain that I hold the same principle for other crimes equally, and cite examples of how this is already enshrined in our legal system- only to be told that the only possible explanation is misogyny. It sure makes it feel like nothing I type is being read.

    Maybe we're talking past one another- can you succinctly state your position on how allegations of sexual assault ought to be publicly treated?
    Last edited by catbarf; 22nd Dec 2017 at 09:49.

  14. #139
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Since we are only aware of each other via this forum, I'm pretty sure that it doesn't equate. You would have screen caps, or you wouldn't.

    You think that this is a good analogue for a person forcing themselves on another person IRL?
    I'm not your favoured putative victim because sexual harassment over the internet isn't so bad. And I better have evidence. Got it.

    Basically the stakes aren't high enough for you. If I was alleging that you raped me, then people would have to believe me, favour my word against yours. But not for something minor like dick pics.
    Last edited by Kolya; 22nd Dec 2017 at 10:28.

  15. #140
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Maybe we're talking past one another- can you succinctly state your position on how allegations of sexual assault ought to be publicly treated?
    Whilst this question was not aimed at me, I'm going to answer it.

    To ensure best treatment to potential victim and the accused, it should not be allowed to be mentioned to the public until it has had it's day in court. That way the life of the accused is not affected unfairly, it reduces the chances of the judge or jury becoming biased (toward the potential victim or the accused) and provides for a more fair and just trial. That is how it should be. It also reduces harm to the potential victim (or should I say accuser?) through having to retell of their ordeal(s) from the accused to the media.

    Does it prevent innocent people from being sentenced guilty? Hell no, but it is about the only way that ensues fair treatment to both sides.

  16. #141
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    I get where you're coming from, icemann, but I feel like if that policy were in place we wouldn't be seeing this kind of shakeup of Hollywood. A lot of the accusations against Weinstein, Spacey and others over events that happened years or decades ago wouldn't have come out if they had to be backed up with enough evidence to go to court.

    As well, that does sound rather like 'shut up unless you have proof', and it's inconsistent with how other crimes are treated. I can say Kevin Spacey drunkenly attacked me thirty years ago, but I can't say Kevin Spacey drunkenly assaulted me thirty years ago?

    I might be misinterpreting your post if you meant this only applies to cases going to court, and otherwise public allegations are fair game, but then we still have the question of how we treat those allegations that won't go to court and can't be proven or disproven.

  17. #142
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Catbarf, I think you are possibly misunderstanding where faetal and heywood and I are coming from. We are not talking about changing legal standards, we are talking about how things are handled outside of the courts.

    In any case, Christmas break?
    Last edited by Starker; 22nd Dec 2017 at 12:25.

  18. #143
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    My reply was solely for cases where it's going to court. Hence the bit about judges etc.

    It's been quite common for the media to leak news about cases being taken to court and naming the accused. Thus potential prejudices being formed prior or during a case, which can lead to retrials etc etc.

    For when it's not being taken to court I'm not sure what the best solution would be.
    Last edited by icemann; 22nd Dec 2017 at 12:59.

  19. #144
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Aye. I've practically never yelled at anyone in this place. Well once I told off a guy who made a racist comment about Aussies. But that's about it for me really.

    *shakes fist*
    Aussies are just English people with bad sunburns, surrounded by weird plants and animals that want to kill them. Don't know how anyone could hate on that.

  20. #145
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    This was many years ago, and in the level editing forum of all places, which is the last place on here you'd expect to come across it. Can't even remember the person's username, it was that long ago.

  21. #146
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Giving every guy benefit of the doubt on innocence is fucking over the 88-98% of assaulted women in order to protect 2-12% of men
    No, it's just treating people equally.

    Favouring the accused is flipping the coin and taking the less likely option, for the ultimate purpose of achieving what exactly?
    No one is talking about favouring the accused. You've made this statement more than once. Its a pure strawman.

    Also, at the risk of being a repetitive bore - why are women less likely to believe when claiming rape versus robbery?
    Because culturally and socially rape is seen as a far more repugnant crime, and it is. Therefore it's very important to be sure there is a case to be heard.

    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I don't think calling out for even more scrutiny and "believe the man first" tactics is a benign move here
    No one has said that should happen.

    I also think that saying "shut up unless you have proof" hurts 88-98% of the abused, to protect 2%-12% of the accused.
    No is saying that should be said.


    And for your delectation and delight, two more recent cases of calculated falsehoods by women with intent.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-42453405
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42441745

    And we don't know the women's names, despite them both being found to be liars.

    Equity?

  22. #147
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Catbarf, I think you are possibly misunderstanding where faetal and heywood and I are coming from. We are not talking about changing legal standards, we are talking about how things are handled outside of the courts.
    I know. I'm saying that dispensing justice outside the courts, the institution we normally delegate that task to, is at best mob justice. And I don't buy 'it's right more often than it's wrong' as a valid argument for mob justice, or a justification for hurting innocent people who, through the actual justice system, would be protected by due process.

    I've been trying to stay objective and talk in matters of principle, but this gets me worked up because it happened to someone I knew from high school. Bogus abuse claim, full of holes and would never have held up in court, but in the local court of public opinion it was enough to ruin his life and he killed himself this past March, jobless and unable to pay mounting debt. So I'm not going to be seeing him this Christmas. What am I supposed to take from that? 'Sucks to be him- now let's empower accusers so it happens more often, and trust it'll happen more to guilty people'?

    My fiancee was sexually assaulted at a college internship. She was pressured not to report by a local police officer who second-guessed her story because there was alcohol at the party where she got groped. That is fucking infuriating, and I will always support taking accusations seriously, because nobody should be treated like a liar just because they made an accusation. Innocent until proven guilty goes for the accuser as much as the accused, and I think everyone is entitled to speak in public regardless of whether they have actionable evidence or not.

    But it seems like as soon as I say I don't want the public reading bullet point hearsay and taking matters into their own hands, suddenly I'm a misogynist trying to create a safe space for rapists and silence victims. Can't win.

  23. #148
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    I know. I'm saying that dispensing justice outside the courts, the institution we normally delegate that task to, is at best mob justice. And I don't buy 'it's right more often than it's wrong' as a valid argument for mob justice, or a justification for hurting innocent people who, through the actual justice system, would be protected by due process.
    Word.
    I will always support taking accusations seriously, because nobody should be treated like a liar just because they made an accusation. Innocent until proven guilty goes for the accuser as much as the accused, and I think everyone is entitled to speak in public regardless of whether they have actionable evidence or not.
    Yep.
    But it seems like as soon as I say I don't want the public reading bullet point hearsay and taking matters into their own hands, suddenly I'm a misogynist trying to create a safe space for rapists and silence victims. Can't win.
    That's how they do. That is exactly how they do.

    I know people who've been falsely accused too. Things like that really stay with you. I know someone who talked to a girl at an evening beach party and then went on to a pub on the other side of town. The girl drank too much, was assaulted, found crying in a state of undress and uttered his name - there was no way he could have done it. Cue a mob hunting him across town and the police searching for him. False claims can be devastating.

    Oh, and you may all like to read this.

    "Approximately 5% of the allegations of rape were deemed false or baseless. That was at least five times higher than for most other offence types."

    But I guess if it doesn't fit your narrative feel free to discard it/class it as misogyny/men ruling the system or whatever, broflakes.

  24. #149
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Catbarf, nobody here has encouraged vigilantism or taking justice into your own hands. And yes, false claims are terrible for both the real victims as well as the innocently accused. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't encourage women to speak out about their abuse.

    What am I supposed to take from that? 'Sucks to be him- now let's empower accusers so it happens more often, and trust it'll happen more to guilty people'?
    Do you think accusers should not be empowered or that they should even be actively discouraged, if it meant less false accusations?

    We are not saying that every accuser should be blindly believed or that justice should be meted out automatically and without listening to the accused. What we are saying is that women who speak out in public should not be held to the standards of criminal prosecution outside of court. Do you disagree with that?
    Last edited by Starker; 22nd Dec 2017 at 19:21.

  25. #150
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    I think I've said in every post so far that I believe women should be encouraged to speak out, without needing evidence to be allowed to speak, and without being assumed to be liars, so I'm not sure why you're asking me my position on things I've explicitly stated several times now.

    Everybody should be empowered to speak and be taken seriously, even if they don't have anything concrete to back up their statements, and be assumed to be telling the truth until proven otherwise. Nobody should have their life ruined by unproven claims (ie punishment meted out externally to the justice system, ie vigilantism/mob justice). You tell me if that's holding women to the standards of criminal prosecution or not.

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