Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Let me apologize for this departure from my normal subject matter. I'd much rather write about leotards and bad hair and hilarious ABC Family shows. However, given recent events, I feel it's important that we, the gymnastics community, continue to focus our efforts on eradicating these people.
And by these people, I mean the perverts.
It's terrible and horrifying and no one wants to think about it. But there are a number of creepers out there who, left to their own devices, will do whatever they want. The police and authorities cannot be everywhere all the time, but we, the gymnastics community, can help.
A few weeks ago, I was linked to a gym video on Youtube. It was your totally normal, run of the mill Khorkina splat montage video. Nothing strange about that at all. However, on the side of the page, you know how Youtube suggests videos that are similar? There was one titled something like "Gymnastics Ass" or something equally nasty. Why I clicked on it, I don't know, but I'm glad I did. I found what was an entire channel of close up home videos of gymnasts at meets. And make no mistake, they were not videos of the routines. That's all I'm going to say. Granted, they appeared to be mostly NCAA gymnasts, but still. That shit is fucking gross, and it's wrong.
This exact same issue happened in my very own high school, about a year after I graduated. The main girls being filmed were fifteen. This sort of behavior certainly does not abide by age laws.
I immediately reported the Youtube page, and posted the link on Twitter, hoping others would do the same. They did. GGMB took action IMMEDIATELY, and had the entire page removed by the time I woke up the next morning. Such is the power of the gymnastics community. Say what you want about GGMB, but those bitches got shit done. In record time. And they continue to bring these issues to light, so that fewer gymnasts become victims of these nasty pervert assholes.
Members of GGMB went so far as to contact the FBI Cyber Crimes Against Children Division, and came back with these suggestions on how we, the community, can help.
If you find a website with inappropriate photos or videos:
1. Report the site to the host (e.g., YouTube, Go Daddy, etc.)
2. File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. This will allow the FBI to begin a formal investigation, track the IP address and identify the site owner.
If you witness or suspect inappropriate photo/video taking IN PERSON:
Call the police and report the person. The police will have to file an incident report. They can also ask the man to show them his camera (of course he doesn't have to comply, but that's irrelevant for our purposes). The agent told me that they have caught many offenders (a shocking number according to her) simply by asking to see their cameras or computers, scrolling through the pictures and finding child pornography on the device. Reporting the person therefore accomplishes three goals: the possibility of finding child pornography, starting the all important paper trail, and harassing them so that they know not to come back.
I copy/pasted this from GGMB, and I implore anyone reading this to copy it from here, and paste it wherever. The more people who are aware means the more people who can help.
Instead of being the whiny, annoying gymnastics community, let's be the awesome, vigilante gymnastics community that gets shit done.