Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Facebook users publicly shame alleged rioters

Vancouver Canucks fans loot merchandise through the smashed windows of a Sears store during a riot in reaction to their team's loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final hockey game.


There's been no shortage of witnesses willing to point out rioters responsible for the post-Stanley Cup mayhem in Vancouver on Wednesday night. According to the Vancouver Police Department, the sheer volume of evidentiary photo submissions from the public temporarily overwhelmed its website yesterday.

But while tipsters may help police round up suspects, the enthusiasm of individuals wanting to see justice done for the havoc wreaked on their city has taken a more sinister turn online.

Consider this Facebook page, for example, "Nathan Kotylak go to Jail, Do not Pass Go," which calls out an alleged rioter by name and posts a photo of a young man setting fire to a piece of clothing stuffed into the gas tank of a police car.

Story continues below advertisement

"If I ever see you in Vancouver again … watch out!!! You are not welcome here anymore [sic]!" one commenter writes.

"You need to be kicked out of the beautiful city of Vancouver, you don't deserve to live there," writes another.

Contact information, believed to be for the man's father, is also posted on the wall.

There are several more Facebook walls that have been set up to publicly shame others believed to be responsible for criminal activity.

Since a screenshot of a Facebook status containing an admission of punching a police officer and flipping and burning cars from "Brock Anton" went viral, Facebook groups such as, "Don't allow Brock Anton in Vancouver," and "Brock Anton Sucks Dick" have emerged.

However, a backlash from Facebook users defending Mr. Anton is growing, with groups such as " Brock Anton Isn't the Only Rioter!" and "Stop Putting the Blame on Brock Anton!!!"

When the public gets involved in identifying perpetrators, how far is too far?

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.