Creep Catchers vigilante group in B.C. facing two defamation lawsuits over pedophile allegations

VANCOUVER — A vigilante group that claims to expose alleged pedophiles is facing two defamation lawsuits in British Columbia including one from a man who criticized the group’s practices in an online commentary that he says led to him wrongly being called a pedophile.

Sean Smith of Campbell River filed a notice of claim in B.C. Supreme Court on March 16 against the president of the Surrey Creep Catchers, Ryan LaForge, alleging he identified Smith as a pedophile in a series of public posts on Facebook.

Smith says as a result, he received response posts threatening him with death or bodily harm.

The social media consultant and educator said he created a video sharing his critical perspective on creep catcher groups because their practices are at odds with what he teaches people about online etiquette.

“The social media shaming, the accusations that are unfounded, the incitement of a social media mob to attack a person, the fact that what you post online today will never go away because the Internet never forgets — it was everything that was not right about social media,” he said in an interview.

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