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Editorial: 4chan brings DVC into the national spotlight

Editorial Board

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The power of the internet collective known as “4chan,” an online internet image forum and community, has reached a critical mass of influence over social media and national press.

On Saturday, April 15th, a masked protestor within Berkeley was filmed hitting a Trump supporter with a metal bicycle lock to the head.

Over the weekend and following week, people on the political board within 4chan (/pol/) started hunting social media pictures for similarities with the masked assailant.

On Wednesday night, people on 4chan identified previous pictures of an adjunct DVC professor as a possible match with the image of the masked protestor bringing DVC into the national spotlight.

National news networks from all the way from Florida to New York were calling DVC offices for an explanation or a confirmation of the internet witch-hunting allegations.

Berkeley Police declined to acknowledge any individual criminal cases revolving around the Berkeley protests clashes, which involved violent fights between Trump protesters and supporters.

A DVC spokesperson, explains how “4chan launched a social media campaign aimed at the school and professors.”

“My office as well as the President’s office has been completely jammed due to this controversy.” The spokesperson went on to say, “These are unsubstantiated allegations from an unknown source.”

4chan is notorious for their past as internet renegades who pride themselves as witch-hunting investigators hunting through the internet looking for clue to unravel internet anonymity.

They have identified and unmasked animal abusers before, as well as assisting Russia targeting ISIS compounds for missile attacks, all by analyzing videos released to the internet and examining surrounding clues such as mountain ranges and flight patterns.

People have fun on 4chan unmasking these potential suspects and it can turn into an addicting and an adrenaline rush activity, which can lead to beneficial outcomes.

However, this style of investigating in the open also removes the private and personal aspect to an investigation.

What if the person being targeted had nothing to do with this event? Their reputation has been tarnished without any due process.

What happened to being innocent until proven guilty? Instead, one is guilty until proven innocent.

-Spring 2017 Editorial Board

Editor’s note:

A name was edited from this article on Monday April 24 due to an online threat. 

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8 Comments

8 Responses to “Editorial: 4chan brings DVC into the national spotlight”

  1. Jeff R on April 20th, 2017 3:35 pm

    Looking at the evidence, I think it’s pretty unlikely this is a case of mistaken identity. And as much as normal circumstances would call for prudence and circumspection, these are not normal circumstances. The professor in question should simply speak publicly on the matter, affirm or deny and be done with it. Take responsibility for assaulting someone with a potentially deadly weapon and face the consequences of his actions, or simply deny. Silence and obfuscation on the part of any involved party only fuels the public furor.

    People want to see something happen and this is not likely to go away until it does.

    Rishi Chopra Reply:

    In America people are innocent until proven guilty; public pressure – or, in this case, a vigilante group hiding behind an ever-thinner veneer of technological supremacy – does not correctly compel an individual to sacrifice his rights. To be clear: “this” not only will go away – it never arrived in the first place!

    = D

  2. DVC Grad on April 20th, 2017 7:54 pm

    Diablo Valley College has been home to radical left-wing professors and activism for decades. From the Frank Runninghorse and SDS debacles, to ridiculous “education funeral” theatrics. But this incident is an all time low. If it’s found that DVC is employing a radical anarcho-communist who bashed a person over the head with a metal object at a protest, it should release this person from employment immediately and then question how it continues to attract the most extreme members of community.

  3. Assata on April 21st, 2017 9:25 am

    As soon as the Berkeley police start enforcing the law, 4chan won’t have to.

  4. Ruben A on April 21st, 2017 12:23 pm

    I find it curious that you reached out for comment from the DVC admins, but not the individual in question. Couldn’t this whole matter be cleared up with a statement from the good professor?

    Your thesis about the dangers of tarnishing a person’s reputation “without any due process” is questionable. Social consequences are entirely separate from legal consequences; the former has no concept of due process.

    If I were to say something racist or bigoted at work, I would be entirely within my First Amendment rights to do so, and yet I should rightly expect to have my career and reputation destroyed by the ensuing outrage. It does not have to be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” by a court that my statement was actually racist or bigoted. “Due process” is certainly not relevant to negative social outcomes. A wealth of video and photographic evidence suggests that a professor at your institution committed an act of assault. It is foolish to suggest that he be shielded from negative social outcomes until such time that he may be convicted of a crime (see the OJ Simpson trial, re: “court of public opinion”).

    Frank Guitron Reply:

    Who says we didn’t reach out? It’s impossible to get a comment when the teacher hasn’t worked here for the semester (as he is an adjunct professor) and has been​ unreachable. Until we can make contact (which we will continue to do) with the professor or with Berkeley PD and Alameda County we can only report what can be proven and backed by credible sources.

  5. Nikki Moylan on April 21st, 2017 4:05 pm

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  6. Ed Dewire on April 22nd, 2017 8:49 pm

    While people in America have the right of being innocent until proven guilty, thats only in a court of law. These people have been calling anyone who disagrees with them nazis for years. How many people stood up and spoke out about that. Then they said its perfectly fine to punch nazis. Barely any response from anyone. Now theyre actually doing it and the police are just watching. Im more surprised no one was seriously hurt, and if some professor who chose to allow this to happen on his camps is drug down with it then thats his problem. The evidence is compelling enough for me to believe it, he refuses to step forward and deleted his social media without responding to anything. People are tired of getting shut down for having a dissenting view. All the left has done is use the tactics the right used against them. I have the right to my opinion along with everyone else and from what Ive seen people believe thats the guy.

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Editorial: 4chan brings DVC into the national spotlight