‘Men’s Rights’ Activists Flood California College With Fake Sexual Assault Reports

Occidental College’s anonymous sexual misconduct reporting system was flooded with false reports this week filed by “men’s rights” activists, The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles-based college told the newspaper that shortly after members of the online communities Reddit and 4Chan began discussing the idea on Monday, the school’s system was flooded with reporters. Some of the reports claimed assaults perpetrated by “Occidental College,” “feminists,” or “Fatty McFatFat.”

About 400 reports came in over 36 hours. College officials are now trying to figure out if any actual assaults were reported during that period.

The form was created in 2009 to encourage assault victims to come forward. Occidental has been accused of discouraging women from reporting assaults and bungling investigations, according to the Times. But users on Reddit apparently did not understand how the college’s reporting form works.

“Feminists at Occidental College created an online form to anonymously report rape/sexual assault,” a user wrote in a Tuesday post on Reddit’s Men’s Rights group. “You just fill out a form and the person is called into the office on a rape charge. The ‘victim’ never has to prove anything or reveal their identity.”

According to the Times, the anonymous reports can be used to “track patterns and make inquiries,” but do not lead to formal investigations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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