Last night we published our skepticism of Beejoli Shah’s rape allegation that was published on Buzzfeed, since it fit the formula of outrageous rape claims we’ve been seeing in the media within the past several months. We also published how Shah’s rapist could be positively identified because of the many details that Shah gave in her allegation. Approximately five hours after we published a strong denial from her alleged rapist this afternoon in an update to our original article, the rape accusation on Buzzfeed has now removed several details that point to his identity.
All afternoon, Shah received criticism on Twitter from men who urged her to come clean about what was increasingly looking like a false rape accusation. Her response did little to alleviate concerns that she was persecuting an innocent man nine years after the incident supposedly occurred.
Not long after she sent these tweets, there was an update at the bottom of her Buzzfeed article:
Before I started writing about the story, I archived it using archive.today in case future changes were made. I then compared the updated article with the archived version. There were several edits made, and from this point on I will refer to the alleged rapist as “the victim.”
- Shah’s class year was removed
- The victim’s class year was removed
- The victim’s extracurricular activity was removed
- Locations where they met were removed
- A historical note alluding to the date of the alleged rape was removed
The changes now make it impossible for an observer to identify the victim, so I have updated my original article to remove these details so that the victim can retain his privacy.
I received some criticism for posting my method for identifying the victim. I took this course of action because either I was exposing a horrible rapist to the public or I was putting a legal burden on Shah and Buzzfeed to stand by an account that may wind up in civil court. After the denial from the victim came forth, it was clear that neither Shah nor Buzzfeed had the stomach to continue backing the article, and so changes were quickly made that cleared the victim’s name. Had I not taken this course of action, details leading to his identity would still be on Buzzfeed.
If Shah continues to stand by her account, it would be highly irregular that she has taken extraordinary measures to preserve the identity of a criminal rapist who can continue raping with impunity, but we can now logically conclude that the man she identified did not commit rape.
As I mentioned in a recent video, 2014 was a big year for our sphere. Feminism and social justice has been pushed back more than ever, with this event being another sound blow to their mythical rape culture narrative. It’s worth noting that this is the first time that a mainstream media organization had to make changes to an article because of our efforts. This is a great victory for us and for Western men everywhere, who are finally pushing back against their marginalization by people like Beejoli Shah and organizations like Buzzfeed.