Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Teacher Fired for Posting Upskirt Photos of Students to Creepy Online Community

A screenshot of one of the teacher's posts on the Subreddit Creepshots.

A substitute teacher is unemployed and under investigation after authorities say he shared candid photos of high school students with a decidedly creepy community on the social news website Reddit. The name of the teacher, who worked at East Coweta High in Sharpsburg, Ga., has not been released. Officials at the high school told MyFox Atlanta that they ran a background check on the teacher before hiring him and saw no red flags.

The photos mostly focused on the skirts of seated female students; in many of them, a glimpse of their underwear can be seen. The students obviously don’t know they’re being photographed, and that’s the whole point: the pictures were posted to a seedy community on Reddit called CreepShots, where men share pictures of women taken without their knowledge. Some of the photos just show women shopping or talking on the phone, but the titles and comments put a sleazy spin on even the most mundane images. A photo of a young woman standing on a train platform is titled “loved the skinny little legs on this girl.”

In order to protect its members and maintain a semblance of legality, CreepShots has a rule that the unsuspecting women pictured must be over 18. However, the teacher’s photos, despite being clearly taken in a classroom, were met with great aplomb by the page’s regular visitors. On a post titled “Another upskirt from a different chick in class,” a user commented “You are doing the lord’s work. Any chance for tits or faces?” On a different photo, a user commented, “Damn dude. You always provide great posts.”

With 9,782 subscribers (called “Admirers of Beauty,”) CreepShots functioned in relative obscurity until non-creeping Redditors who frequent the site for the baby animal photos, sandwich recipes and engaging political discussion, caught wind of the pervy page. A user who claimed to know the teacher wrote on one of his posts, “I know that girl, and I know which teacher you are. I hope you’re looking forward to getting fired, you creepy asshole.” Then, subscribers of the feminist watchdog community on Reddit called Sh*t Reddit Says laboriously compiled this post detailing all of the teacher’s activity. The teacher’s account has since been deleted.

This isn’t the first time Reddit has come under fire for its more seedy communities. Last fall, Reddit administrators shut down Jailbait, where users admired photos of underage girls. Teetering precariously on the boundary between free speech and morality, Reddit still allows “Beating Women” and “Pics of Dead Kids” to stay up, because, while disgusting, those types of images are not illegal. For those not familiar with Reddit’s structure, it’s important to note that these communities, called Subreddits, can be created and moderated by any user, at any time. The majority of them are not pornographic or offensive; there are thriving Subreddits dedicated to fitness, cinema, food, humor, technology and every hobby under the sun. The site, with several million users and 20 employees, is largely self-policing and administrators seldom step in unless something blatantly illegal is going on, as in the case of Jailbait. More often, unpaid but dedicated moderators stand watch over their Subreddits, and users employ a system of upvotes and downvotes to promote or hide content and comments. This system usually works well–the teacher may have found a haven for his proclivities on Reddit, but Reddit users also brought those proclivities to the attention of police.

Is it Legal to Post Photos of Sexy Strangers on the Internet?

 

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