TPD questions poster of alleged rape video

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Question Person Who Posted Video of Alleged Rape.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The Tallahassee Police Department has identified the person responsible for uploading an online video allegedly depicting a woman being raped and has interviewed others associated with the anonymous post.On Friday afternoon, an anonymous tipster alerted Jezebel to the presence of what appears to be a video of a rape at Florida A&M University posted to the Yik Yak-meets-Snapchat app Yeti: Campus Stories. No arrests have been announced and TPD is asking anyone with information on the case to report information to its Special Victims Unit at 891-4200 or call CrimeStoppers at 574-5477. The FAMU administration is attempting to pick up the pieces from here, but the video’s posting raises some questions about anonymous and untraceable social networks like Yeti.

According to Jezebel.com, the video was posted to Yeti on Thursday night and shows a man who appears to sexually assault an unconscious woman while the man filming the attack urges the rapist to “Get right.” An email to Jezebel.com from FAMU’s Director of Public Safety Terence Calloway said, “The FAMU police department IT person has researched several different ways to ascertain information from the video with negative results. Someone Find him and whoop THEY ass G.” The app’s terms of service forbid users from posting suggestive or sexually explicit materials, but there is no verbiage regarding videos that show a crime being committed. There is, however, a content warning: “While Yeti Campus Stories prohibits such conduct and content on its site, you understand and agree that Yeti Campus Stories cannot be responsible for the Content posted on its service and you nonetheless may be exposed to such materials and that you use the Yeti Campus Stories service at your own risk.” Jezebel’s Joanna Rothkopf wrote, “Snapchat’s ability to give out user information is determined by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The ECPA requires that the app disclose details about a given user (including the user’s identity, login information, and account content) in response to ‘certain types of legal process, including subpoenas, court orders, and search warrants.’” I have also reached out to other law enforcement agencies asking for their assistance as well.” As far as we can tell, this situation is a first for Yeti, which found its success as college students migrated away from Snapchat, which was known to delete posts containing illicit content.

However, judging by the fact that it was available Friday afternoon and that tweets discussing the post begin to appear around midnight Friday morning, it is reasonable to assume it was posted some time on Thursday evening. The male, who was wearing a black T-shirt, boxer briefs, jeans and a cap, was facing away from the camera and appeared to be sexually assaulting an incapacitated female. But after a story was posted on Jezebel.com Friday and comments were posted on other social media sites, the video began to trend and could be viewed by everyone who had access to the Yeti app.

The University is committed to the safety of our students, and in no way condones acts of violence on or off campus, nor in the communities we serve.” Contact Democrat senior writer Byron Dobson at bdobson@tallahassee.com or on Twitter @byrondobson. TPD also reminds our citizens that with these apps becoming more prevalent, to please call Law Enforcement anytime they see something on social media which raises a concern.

In general, a provider would not have an obligation to turn over information to law enforcement unless it was served with a proper order or other compulsory process for information that it maintained in its possession.” So, in theory, Yeti should be beholden to the same laws as Snapchat, even though Yetis are sent anonymously. If law enforcement fails to ultimately subpoena the tech company for the information of whoever posted it (although it is unclear what information Yeti retains about its posts or users), then the damning video will continue to exist, untouched, in the bowels of Yeti—a momentary horror quickly buried by other, more acceptable horrors. “When it was brought to our attention and we noticed somebody might be in danger of physical harm, we cooperated fully with local law enforcement officers to investigate what happened.”

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