Disinfo readers may be interested in this episode of WBEZ Chicago’s Love + Radio podcast. Profiled is “Ellen” (not her real name), a woman who makes her living baiting and trapping pedophiles by posing as a young boy or girl online. Once Ellen gets her target in a compromising position she threatens to expose him unless he buys her an Amazon gift card, which she uses to purchase items she can sell online.
It’s an interesting story because of all of the questions it invites: Does doing something horrible to a horrible person mean that you’re a horrible person, too, or is Ellen a hero for effecting a kind of vigilante justice on one of the most loathed segments of society? If it is the latter, does her personal gain make his punishment an afterthought? Does not turning pedophiles over to the local police make her a party to their crimes? Where doe her money come from? Is she being paid (in some instances) in money earned from child exploitation?
Give it a listen and let me know what you think.