The unfortunate series of events has left many Canadians unhappy, and embarrassed that a few hoodlums cold bring such disgrace on the country. However, others have taken the opportunity to "photoshop" the faces of unrelated folks on riot scenes and then ID the person as a rioter. Others have had their names, addresses and employer information posted, leading to job dismissal as people protest their employer.
If you’ve been identified — rightly or wrongly — as one of the rioters in the hundreds of cellphone pictures posted online by outraged Vancouverites since the June 15 ugliness “you could apply for a job in 20 years and all the employer has to do is Google your name. If you’re in one of those photos, you’re out of luck,” correctly noted the Vancouver caller. Current employers of alleged and confessed rioters are also feeling the public’s wrath (more on this below).
Smile, you're on candid camera
A Facebook group called “Vancouver Riot Pics: Post Your Photos” now lists over 100,000 “Likes” and has posted hundreds of pictures of suspected rioters, with one typical entry this week showing a man bashing in a car window with the message, “If anyone knows who this is can you please send me his name and address, a $200.00 reward will be given. Please help, he did this to my mommy’s car. ):”
Probably the best-known victim of the public’s wrath toward rioters identified online and its backlash is a young member of Canada’s Junior OIympics water-polo team, Nathan Kotylak, who was photographed apparently trying to set fire to a Vancouver police car. Kotylak, son of a suburban physician, quickly apologized, but was suspended from the Canadian team. His parents were threatened and their home address appeared online, causing them to flee.
There have been other legal ramifications in the digital backlash: The owner of a popular coffee shop chain, Blenz, has filed a lawsuit against 150 “unnamed defendants” who smashed up three of his downtown locations.
The defendants in the lawsuit are named as “John Does 1 through 75, and Jane Does 1 through 75,” but owner George Moen said there will be enough evidence in cellphone photos and video captured during the riot to easily identify the accused.
Over 200 arrests have been made following the riots, and scores of rioters, many identified online, have turned themselves in. The day after, a few preternaturally stupid rioters boasted online about their looting and destructive “exploits” on their Facebook pages. They were met with a firestorm of anger and threats of physical violence. (And “unfriended,” of course). .
The employers of rioters identified online have faced a backlash. One suburban Vancouver Accura dealer who employed a college student identified as a rioter has been told by some angry Vancouverites that they will never buy a car from him.
He’s not alone. Morning daily The Vancouver Sun reports that several local companies have been left scrambling to contain damage to their reputations because of their professional association with people thought to be involved in the downtown riots