This is a statement from the WeSearchr team.
There is a lot of disinformation on the Internet about WeSearchr bounties. There have been many petitions for the WeSearchr Twitter account and website to be taken down on the pretense that WeSearchr violates harassment policies. The bounties in questions are related to confirming the identities of two violent criminals videotaped in the midst of committing violent criminal assaults against innocent people.
To be clear: any information on the suspects will be thoroughly vetted by the WeSearchr editorial team, who will then pass it on to the appropriate law enforcement departments. We will award the bounty only when the police confirm that the suspect is who they are looking for, at which point we will publish the names of the criminals in question, like good journalists should. The purpose of these bounties to to assist underfunded law enforcement departments and uncover the truth on topics of journalistic interest to the public.
With the uptick in crime, WeSearchr is playing an important role in helping our overwhelmed police officers with hundreds of volunteer researchers, volunteer funders, and volunteer investigators.
Don’t take our word for it, ask the city administrations in charge, such as Coal Run, Kentucky Mayor Andrew H. Scott: “My head is spinning over the WeSearchr suspension; chilling message to send to mayors like me and other leaders whose police departments often rely on social media for identification of unknown suspects.”
As our Terms of Service and disclaimers state, this is categorically not a call for any vigilante justice, libel, or other illegal action. Claims to the contrary are totally false and, as we see, normally part of a targeted harassment and abuse campaign against us by political extremists trying to aid and abet the violent criminals in question.
On 22 January 2017, both bounties on WeSearchr went viral and unfortunately so did the fake news about how WeSearchr works. We never intended to release the personal information of the suspects to the public, like many so-called “journalists” falsely claimed. They didn’t reach out for comment, nor did they source the claim that WeSearchr was going to release any information to the public. We only put out these bounties to help solve these crimes for the victims.
Twitter’s ban of the WeSearchr account was unfairly handed down, since the allegations that WeSearchr was inciting violence or harrasment are untrue and total fake news. WeSearchr is a journalistic enterprise and a company registered in the State of California, which has been always pro-justice.
WeSearchr has a track record of only publishing information that has been verified to be true. WeSearchr has never caused harm to any innocent private citizen, nor has ever intended to, as our detractors falsely allege. To date, WeSearchr has been featured or mentioned in Forbes, Vanity Fair, Politico, New York Magazine, USAToday, RT, The Daily Caller, The Daily Dot, CNN Tech, The Washington Times, BuzzFeed, the Center for Investigative Journalism’s Reveal, and many more prominent publications.
WeSearchr is a politically independent, non-partisan platform, where anyone can start a bounty for information, provided it isn’t used to harass others and is in the public interest.
We are asking Twitter to unsuspend our account and in the meantime we are going to #SueTwitter, with the funding provided through our crowdfunding platform, as you can see here. We have already raised several thousand dollars from the public — which will be fully refunded and then some if we win — and we are already working with a team of attorneys to draft a legal strategy against Twitter, including at least three separate grounds on which we will sue.
Stay tuned and follow us in the meantime on Gab.