Should we allow perpetrators to sign up for GHRD with a profile page? Should Anwar Congo (a killer of over 1000 in Indonesia featured in Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary The Act of Killing) be allowed to create a profile page? Tweet Comments (8) Eve Beauchemin January 31, 2016 at 16:53 | # Our group reasoned that having perpetrators on the site, like Anwar Congo, does have value--they could provide a lot of information that would help us understand the motives behind their actions. However, it would be difficult to restrict them so that we only got the information that we wanted, and not extraneous material that they may post, i.e. advertisements to support their cause, verbal attacks on certain communities of people, communicating with other perpetrators about efficient killing, etc. Furthermore, these perpetrators may not see themselves as perpetrators, and will become resentful when they see that there is bias against them, since they will have certain restrictions that other people (victims, professors, activists) do not. Ultimately, our group decided that the voices of the Other--the ones who would be most affected by the presence of perpetrators on the site--should come into play when deciding on this topic. Perhaps their viewpoint can dig up other issues concerning this topic, and possible resolutions to those issues which may work better than anything we could come up with. reply Jenna Brianne Radomski January 31, 2016 at 18:49 | # Yes, we think it would be beneficial for perpetrators to be allowed to create a profile page and be a part of GHRD, but with some limitations. First, the person should place the title as "former perpetrator" or something of the sort so every member of GHRD is aware. Also, it would be important to closely monitor these profiles and the activity to ensure it is only contributing to the productivity of the cause. There should also be a filter or warning of some sort that will inform users that sensitive content may be exposed; this will allow individuals to choose if they want to confront the difficult issue. We think the perpetrator profiles should have a sort of expiration date in which the site's administrators ensure that distasteful content is removed. Another feature we came up with is that users can vote on posts/comments and decide if they should be part of the conversation. Overall, we agreed that allowing perpetrators to participate in discussions within GHRD would be beneficial in dealing with difficult human rights issues. -Jenna Radomski, Lindsey Ganzman, Ali Angelo, AJ Tome, Christa Sonderer reply Christina Harris January 31, 2016 at 22:27 | # We think that perpetrators should be able to add a profile on the website because the educational benefits would outweigh the potential repercussions. Since the website is regularly monitored by an administrator, only the beneficial comments would be seen, and the toxic comments would not be seen. And if this is not the case, the website could be programmed that way, so that way it does not toxic environment for victims. Having them create a profile and different groups can give different perspectives from all different parts of the world. It also could give victims a chance at closure, and it gives the perpetrator a chance to see how they have affected their victims and their families. Having both sides of the story will also make the website more objective. A website is only truly objective if multiple sides to a story are included. By adding the voices of the perpetrators, we are creating such an objective site. We must ask ourselves, though: what is more important? An objective site or a site which finally allows the victims', and only the victims, voices to be heard? -Comment from Ciara Daniels, Christina Harris, and Jake Klyn (from HNRS 217) reply Tiffanie O February 01, 2016 at 01:27 | # We think that Anwar Congo should be allowed to go on the website because we believe the website should be open and unbiased. However, if he gets inappropriate then he can be removed from the site. But, if he is beneficial to the website then he can create more pages that can help other perpetrators change or show remorse. reply Maria S Smith February 01, 2016 at 17:17 | # This question poses a very complicated and ethical question. On one hand, understanding human rights through the lens of a perpetrator can be very informative and educational to all parties, victims included. On the other hand, permitting perpetrators the space to exercise their voice could be damaging, in that it has the opportunity to re-victimize the victims/survivors. With that said, open space for dialogue could also be therapeutic for victims because only then, from a safe distance, can victims directly address their perpetrator(s). Unfortunately, this also brings into question the self-fulfilling labeling prophecy which suggests that labels have power. Such labels have the propensity to bring out the worst or best in individuals. I propose imposing a different label for perpetrators should they be allowed to join. Furthermore, I believe in answering the blog question, one would have to analyze and synthesize the purpose/mission of Global Human Rights Direct. From my interpretation, GHRD is intended to be used not only for networking but as an educational tool for students, scholars, and activist alike. In identifying that key concept, I believe perpetrators should be given the opportunity to be heard. Hypothetically, what if their deviant acts were committed under duress, coercion, or brainwashing? If we think about it from this perspective, it gives us a chance to study government regime and/or different militant coalitions whom have set out to change policy in their country through violence. Militant groups, typically establish and gain support because the core of their mission is to bring about change in their community. That in mind, not all perpetrators commit human atrocities out of sheer will, for instance, child soldiers in Africa commit crimes against humanity out of brute force. They are captured from their domiciles, separated from their families, drugged, brainwashed, and then sent out to kill. Under such influence, does their murderous actions accurately define their inner-core self or can these child soldiers provide insight on a demoralizing regime/coalition? The same for radical Muslim factions, labeled "terrorists." As a student, I am most interested in what they are trying to say to the world through religious suicide or the beheading of Americans? What message do they intend for us to hear? Providing such groups access means giving their cause a chance to be heard globally, thus it provides an unfiltered understanding. In this sense, I am looking at it from the perspective of deviant and delinquent juvenile, children act out when they cannot be heard but when given the chance, change has the ability to commence. While I most certainly believe in the benefits of providing a space for perpetrators, I do not want it to then turn into a toxic environment for victims, as their stories and encounters are equally important. Before permitting perpetrators, such as Anwar Congo, the right to join and take center stage, the site must provide a disclaimer, informing victims, scholars, activist, and students, alike, that such persons has access to the site. Additional purposed parameters, would be to incorporate a “blocked,” “privacy, “and “report” feature, much like Facebook, where users have the autonomy to decide what is seen or not seen on their newsfeed and to escalate harmful posts to administrators of the site. Lastly, under no circumstances should GHRD exchange funds or goods for the testimony of these groups, permitting them to tell their side of the story should be compensation enough, as in doing so could summon ethical and criminal sanctions. Moreover, an alternative to giving them space could be simply to invite them to videoed discussions and webinars, thus granting them temporary and limited access. Lastly, with all things, there will be trial and error. If allowing perpetrators access to the site proves more detrimental than advantageous, then administrators can disable the feature but before ruling it out we must first consider the learning opportunity for all whom wish to change the world. reply Samantha Shea Getzen February 01, 2016 at 19:01 | # Perpetrators should not be allowed full access to the site. There should be information about the perpetrators available on the website but it should be accompanied by information that can shed light on the situation. We feel that putting the testimonies of the people committing human rights atrocities could do more harm than good, especially when taking into consideration the feelings of victims. The perpetrators shouldn't be allowed full access to the site. reply Ali Angelo May 09, 2016 at 00:47 | # Like I have said before, I completely understand the possible benefits to a perpetrator's side of the story, even if they are sorry or remorseful. Honestly though, I think that if we had quarterly check-ups, or even more frequently, and attempted to make sure every one of their comments is approved, yes I agree it would ideally be a good precaution, but in the real world you won’t have time to be checking on all of that especially in a timely manner. reply William Paul Simmons May 25, 2016 at 17:35 | # From a University of Arizona student: Although my first recommendation is not really a change since it is not (yet?) in effect, but I no longer think that perpetrators should be included on the GHRD website. Before, I thought you should include perpetrators on the website, but after finishing the class I have changed my mind. I no longer think that perpetrators should be able to have profiles on the website. Listening to all the guest speakers and hearing their personal accounts on human rights issues was so cool and it seems to be really empowering to them, too, to talk about it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to take away from that empowerment and admirable strength. The focus should be on the survivors, on the people who struggled with human rights issues. That’s what the website is all about, raising awareness for these human rights issues and finally giving a voice to those who suffered and were oppressed, no matter what that may have looked like. reply Leave a comment Please login to leave a comment.