Website Calls Out Authors of Racist Anti-Obama Posts | CNS Maryland

WASHINGTON — A new blog that exposes racial slurs on social media about President Barack Obama’s re-election could draw the attention of the U.S. Secret Service, even though most of its subjects — two of whom are from Maryland — appear to be of high school and college age.

The website “Hello There, Racists!” which has only existed since Nov. 11, had “outed” 77 subjects by Thursday afternoon. Its creator, who has not been identified, did not respond to an electronic request for comment.

The blog, which is hosted by the popular microblogging platform Tumblr, welcomes its visitors with a challenge:

“The (un)official motto of the GOP is ‘personal responsibility’ — so with publicly available information, let the words, names, and faces of these racists be documented so that they may be responsible for them,” the message reads.

While the people behind the racial slurs may find themselves in legal trouble, the website’s creator may be treading on ethically unstable ground.

“If all this stuff is publicly available, and they’re taking the information without using any illegal methods, it’s fair game,” said Bradley Shear, a Bethesda lawyer specializing in social media and Internet law. “Everyone has a right to state their opinion; however, people also have a right to be held accountable.”

Shear said social media users need to be aware of the dangers of reckless tweeting, but suggested the lesson could serve as a teaching moment — however bruising the lesson may be.

via Website Calls Out Authors of Racist Anti-Obama Posts | CNS Maryland.   Note the the blog described here has already been taken down.

2 thoughts on “Website Calls Out Authors of Racist Anti-Obama Posts | CNS Maryland

  1. I am in no way justifying the behavior of the individuals who chose to use social media as their platform for delivering hate speech, and while this behavior is certainly ripe with ethical implications, I think another thing of ethical concern is the act of “outing” the individuals who are responsible for such posts. It is reasonable to assume that the words posted by these people who contributed to the racist Tumblr page will not manifest themselves in real life. If those individuals are outed and identified by people in their community, their safety could be at risk, which only further perpetuates the probability for retaliation. By the same token, though, you can never be too careful in dealing with issues of racism and the life of the President of the United States, and it is a tricky ethical issue.

  2. I say that it is not only unethical on the part of those posting racial slurs, but it is also unethical to provide the information of those who are doing the postings. This goes back to two wrongs don’t make a right. I think it is fair to let others know that some negative speech has been made, but I don’t agree with providing personal information on those who are posting. This is especially important since most of the racists posters are apparently high school age and have no real influence in matters of the election/ presidency.

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