On the train. In line at the pharmacy. Even in class. You really never know when someone might snap a picture of you, add a sleazy comment and post it to a highly trafficked site like Reddit to be ogled at by strangers. Don't believe it? It actually happens a lot.
CreepShots, a forum on Reddit devoted to photos taken of women without their knowledge or consent, was recently embroiled in controversy after a teacher was fired for posting a picture of his underage student.
At this time, the sub-Reddit CreepShots has been banned, as has an alternate subReddit, CreepyShots. However CreepSquad, another comparable site, has already cropped up in its place.
Now, a new Tumblr blog hopes to give creepsters a taste of their own medicine.
Predditors -- a play on 'Redditors,' a nickname for users of the site -- posts personal information about CreepShots submitters, including photos, Facebook pages, marital status, location and occupation, and any other identifying details found by sleuthing on the Internet.
According to Jezebel, the creator of the site is a 25-year old woman who wants posters to be held accountable for their creepiness. "Reddit's defense of [CreepShots] is that it's 'technically legal,'" she said. "So I'm doing something that's technically legal, but will result in consequences for their actions. These fuckers think they can get away with it scot free, which is one of the reasons why sexual violence is so prevalent around the world."
The site has named 36 Reddit users since it launched on Sept. 29th.
But some people see a bit of hypocrisy in fighting fire with fire. One Reddit user, who did not want to be named, said he thought labeling users as "sexual predators" was unfair. "There is a line in what a sexual predator is, and taking a photo of a hot girl in public is NOT that," he said. "Creepy, yes."
UPDATE: Tumblr has apparently taken down the Predditors blog. Links to the Tumblr account were down on Thursday morning. Users are sounding off about the presumed takedown. You can read their reactions here.
UPDATE: Reddit and the website Gawker are now sparring over CreepShots. The subReddit r/Politics has banned links to all Gawker content, alleging that Gawker journalist Adrian Chen was threatening to make the identify of the CreepShots moderator public.
Here's how a politics moderator explained the decision:
As some of you may know, a prominent member of Reddit's community, Violentacrez, deleted his account recently. This was as a result of a 'journalist' seeking out his personal information and threatening to publish it, which would have a significant impact on his life. You can read more about it here.
As moderators, we feel that this type of behavior is completely intolerable. We volunteer our time on Reddit to make it a better place for the users, and should not be harassed and threatened for that. We should all be afraid of the threat of having our personal information investigated and spread around the internet if someone disagrees with you. Reddit prides itself on having a subreddit for everything, and no matter how much anyone may disapprove of what another user subscribes to, that is never a reason to threaten them.
As a result, the moderators of /r/politics have chosen to disallow links from the Gawker network until action is taken to correct this serious lack of ethics and integrity.
We thank you for your understanding.
At least 10 other Reddit sub-forums have followed suit.
Redditors are not letting CreepShots go without a fight. On the new CreepShots forum, CreepSquad, users are warned to "please stay safe" by using an alternative account to post photos.
To everyone else who is a member here, all I can emphasise is... please stay safe. When posting here, we strongly suggest that you use an alternative account or, at the very least, delete personally identifiable information about you that you may have posted in your comments. You still aren't doing anything illegal.
The Moderators may also take a harder line for your safety. Whenever we can, we will check your profiles for any comments that may personally identify you. You will have your posts removed, you will be banned, and then you will be sent a message asking you to create a new account so you can post here. This is only for your safety.