Here is what makes me certain that people in favor of maintaining the rules that abusers should not be named in public are full of UTTER SHIT and are only here to cover their own asses and because they are afraid of getting called out on their own questionable behavior.
Let’s say we actually do have someone who is your mythical “false accuser” and just holds a petty grudge and wants to blast a person’s name in the worst way possible.
If everyone is following the rules, that person could just private message all of their friends saying “hey this guy raped me, please let fellow community members know.” The message could just get passed along. In this scenario, the accused would have NO WAY of knowing that they are being accused of something, and suddenly everyone would be avoiding them for what seems to be no reason. Furthermore, there would be no public forum for people who know the accused and can vouch for their good behavior to speak up and let everyone know that the accusation is probably false. Even if some people who receive the message about the accused know that it is false, they have no way of knowing who else has gotten the message and therefore no easy way of spreading the word that it is a lie. On the other hand, let’s say someone accuses a person in a public forum. The accused can then see what is going on, who is accusing them, and respond in their own defense. People who know the accused is not a rapist can speak up against the accuser. Everything will be out in the open in a way people can discuss and come to their own conclusions about the matter.
Now let’s say that there is a community member who is actually a predator, and someone wants to spread the word. They could do so through private messages, like described above. However, there is then no way to know how many people in the community they may have also abused; if someone gets the message has also been abused by the accused, they may commiserate with the person who sent the message, but not be able to gather further data on the breadth of the abuse the accused has committed. On the other hand, if someone accuses an abuser in a public forum, others who may have been previously afraid to speak up may do so, and the abuser’s patterns of predation may be fully realized.
So, you see, putting accusations in a public forum is BOTH better for the innocent AND worse for the guilty, and to try to suggest otherwise reveals you as someone who is probably trying to silence people from calling you out on YOUR shit.
Also, for everyone saying “just go to the police” ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND? Are you willingly ignorant of the stories of people in the kink community who have been raped? If you know anything aboutrape statistics you know that less than 7% of rapists reported to the police spend a single day in jail, and that is after a long, re-traumatizing process for the victim. Most rape statistics are likely under-reported anyway, and if you add a kink element to the equations the numbers get lower. I have had several personal friends who DID try to report it to the police, who were straight-up told that they were lying and/or that they couldn’t get a conviction based on the evidence even if they tried.
Basically it works like this: Are the victim and the accused in a relationship, or recently ended a relationship? No conviction. Did the victim consent to certain acts but not others? No conviction. Was the victim seen being flirtatious/friendly/happy with the victim in any context? No conviction. Does the victim have pictures/video of themselves in a kink context on the internet? No conviction (go ahead and read about Fetlife’s horrendous security issues to see the irony on that one)
If you haven’t been living under a rock your entire life, or perhaps if your male privilege is emblazoned on your forehead, you know that our criminal justice system does shit for rape victims. And as rape victims have realized in response, the best, if not ONLY, way to truly protect our community is keep tabs on each other and let each other know who to be careful with. The law will not protect us, so we have to protect each other, and for Fetlife to hinder us from best protecting each other is absolutely criminal.