Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Amateur Radio Site Sinks To New Lows - Hams Using Free Speech As Tool For Cyberbullying

Just when the vast majority of those within the amateur radio / shortwave circles thought that those who run Hamsexy could no longer sink to new lows, we receive a surprise. For those who are unaware, Hamsexy is a controversial website whose owner(s) have defended as being a place where they and their followers can present their own opinions about amateur radio related topics, events, and whatever individuals they deem worthy of vicious attack. 

Over the course of their existence of their group, they have engaged in various "wars" with such notable places as QRZ, the ARRL and its emergency service / emergency communications education section known as Amateur Radio Emergency Service, The U.S. Government Radio Civil Emergency Service (RACES), and the National Weather Service "Skywarn" program; just to name a few. 

In past years, Hamsexy has seen fit to openly bash the LGBT community; including LGBT amateur operators. This group has been refused their own Echolink node, and only attracts a disproportionately small, yet, angry crowd of police officers, fire/ems personnel, overly aggressive members of the military, and civilians who receive personal gratification from participating in wolf-pack methods of cyber - bullying. 

The members of Hamsexy are a mix of licensed amateur operators who never (or almost never) perform control point amateur radio operations, but still, they attend big name events like Dayton Hamvention, and Florida Hamcation for the purpose of snapping libelous / defamatory photos for publication on their site and then spin their stories in ways that directly bully specific groups of social classes such as overweight and disabled persons. This group hails mostly from Vancouver, Canada; and the state of Michigan, with some members hailing from the east coast of the U.S. 

Over the last two years, Shortwave America has monitored the known simplex and repeater frequency pairs regularly frequented by Hamsexy members in places where their members are known to congregate / live in higher concentrations. Little to zero operation or other amateur radio participation by their members has been observed.

Attention was called to the comments section by an anonymous fan of Shortwave America, and after thorough investigation, it was determined that the specific comments were worthy of being shamed in public due to the level of ignorance, weight of unjust judgement, level of aggressiveness, lack of any real amateur radio knowledge, and the poor judgement it reflects upon Hamsexy as part of the journalistic presence of amateur radio. The comments in the screen caps below have been on the site since March 27th, 2011. 




The Hamsexy group has made their history of going undetected as a group of cyber-vigilantes by using clever arguments to mask their true spirit and intent of psychological violence as an aggressive pack of cyber - predators. The behavior they continually display and allow to be displayed on their site by their site users cannot even reasonably be argued as "parody" or "satire" given their solid history of using their site to attack those who are legally protected from even cyber-attack when such wording is clearly or reasonably expected to be taken as a whole to the victim(s) as a show of hate.

To wit, the same, tired, defense posted by "Wes" below:

                       

"Wes" and other Hamsexy members have wrongfully perpetuated a bad image of Amateur Radio / radio enthusiasts by way of over-generalization rooted in their own frustrations, their own short - comings, and their own "pedantry" in regards to the diverse social make-up of the radio enthusiast crowd. Preponderance of the evidence easily shows that Hamsexy lost any credibility they may have otherwise held a long time ago. Unchecked perceptions, pre-conceptions, over - generalizations, prejudices, hate, and a dangerous gang (wolf-pack) mentality shine through at Hamsexy. 

In an article on their site is a photo of a blonde, female, Dayton Hamvention attendee, who is of average size and appearance, wearing a pink baseball cap and white shorts. The group used her photo in a way that unfairly stereotyped her with implied sexualization in a negative tone. Per the overall wording of their article, a reasonable person would say it borders on defamation, and could easily gamble on a successful lawsuit based on their unlawful commercial use of her image since they more than likely do not have her consent.

Commercial use of an image means that you snap a photo of a person or corporate logo, and post it on the internet or elsewhere in a publication without express permission of the person or corporation  whether or not you make a profit from it. The argument of the person being in a pubic place and lack of a reasonable expectation of privacy does not win in a case like this. Tsk, tsk! 

The evidence shown forth by Shortwave America shows a clear negligence on part of Hamsexy to adhere to / obey time honored and respected journalistic ethics. The proliferation of state and Federal anti-bullying laws regulating the use of the internet for such activities could easily mean heavy legal penalties for Hamsexy if they continue to use their site to attack people or allow their website users to attack others on their behalf. 

There is an article at their site this year where the comments section went unmoderated when a commenter equaled radio enthusiasts to pedophiles. The group at Hamsexy fails to recognize responsibility for their site management and behavior. If someone had committed suicide as a result of their conduct, their history shows that they would likely have continued to bully even the family of the victim as other hard-core bullies have done such as in the case of a teen-age girl in Mentor, Ohio and the case of Jamey Rodemeyer.

Although anti-bullying laws are quickly catching up to technology, police don't always know how to properly use them, states attorney's don't always know how to properly file the charge(s) nor how to properly prosecute such cases. Lack of proper legal training has much to do with this, thus, law enforcement and states attorney's are very nervous about using these laws to their full potential. 

The public needs to know that amateur radio / shortwave listening has actually helped quite a few people to independently pursue their own careers in radio, music, electronics, computer engineering, etc. Shortwave America is an example of this, as is the fact that career development via amateur radio was highlighted in a 2010 edition of Amateur Radio Newsline. People like Art Bell, Scott Childers, a long list of NASA Astronauts, and a long list of others to include celebrities have been inspired or helped in some way by amateur radio or shortwave listening. Hamsexy won't ever bring up these facts, however. 

1 comment:

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