Opinion Nov 11, 2020 3:18 PM EST

Facebook page requires no evidence to call men sexual abusers

Jean-François Marquis, one of the men added to the list this summer by the women administrating the list, is suing for $50 000 in damages.

Facebook page requires no evidence to call men sexual abusers
David Baron The Post Millennial
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This summer, we witnessed a new wave of #MeToo sexual misconduct accusations on social media targeting powerful men in various industries in the province of Quebec. Like the previous instance of online indictments of sexual harassment, few professed victims could present proof supporting their allegations' validity. And so, we were told to "believe all victims," even when evidence was absent.

Not satisfied with the current Quebec's legal process, Delphine Bergeron and an unnamed collaborator decided to curate a public list of potential sexual harassers' names. The administrators share the list in question on a Facebook page named "Dis son Nom," roughly translated into English as "Say his name."

It includes the names of supposedly sexual harassers. Their names, occupation, employers, and location are listed. Each person on the list is given a rating ranging from 1 to 3. The numbers represent the type of sexual misconduct they are being accused of by their alleged victims. Type 1 is reserved for inappropriate sexual comments, type 2 for grooming, and type 3 for sexual contact.

On the Facebook page, it's clearly stated in French by its administrators that it will give no context on why these names appear on their list. And so it's impossible to verify the accusations. And it offers no apparent recourse for the accused to get their names removed from the list.

And so the purpose of the list seems to be a tool to shame and slander alleged sexual harassers without giving them their legal rights to a fair trial. The fact that the list reveals the accused's employers seems to have the goal of causing them financial harm.

Jean-François Marquis, one of the men added to the list this summer by the women administrating the list, is suing for $50,000 in damages. He's currently in the initial stages of a civil court case against Delphine Bergeron and her anonymous accomplice, both administrators of the list in question.

Virginie Dufresne-Lemire, the lawyer of the defendants, is preparing a defense in which she will argue that the list is a benefit to the public. But Quebec's libel laws are quite strict, and publicly accusing people of crimes, even when accurate, can have legal consequences.

This list's legality will be decided in court, but at the moment, the men who have their names publicly listed range from public figures like Guy Laliberte to a QA tester at Ubisoft. So some might not have the financial resources to defend themselves.

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