Defending the Rights of the Accused Is Not the Same Thing as Victim Shaming

Kipp Gabriel, a local rapper known as Kipp G, is seen in this 2014 photo. Gabriel died Sunday, June 28, at the age of 37. Raul Gomez / High Plains Reader

MINOT, N.D. — “[T]he mob is the most ruthless of tyrants,” wrote Nietzsche.

If only he’d been around to bear witness to our society under the influence of social media.

We do everything on Facebook now. Or Twitter or Snapchat or Reddit. We used to see the internet as a sort of utopia—a place where everyone, and every idea, had a home.

Increasingly, it’s become a tool to be used by the masses to enforce conformity and mob justice.

This trend recently came home to North Dakota in a tragic way. A man named Kipp Gabriel, a performer in the regional music scene, was found dead, with no foul play suspected, after a group of women accused him of sexual assault in social media posts.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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