When you hear of an anti-MAP or pedophile hunter, you probably think they are doing good to protect kids, right? After all, minor-attracted people are attracted to children. Gross! But what if I told you that these groups of people are doing more harm than good? What if I could prove it? What if I could show you that minor attracted people can choose not to harm children, and that these vigilantes are hiding more sinister motives?

Multiple Narratives At Play

To these vigilantes and their fans, they are providing a valuable service to weed out people who they believe are “a threat to society.” However, some have been charged by the police for their actions. Others point out that this form of vigilante justice results in suicide and some so-called threats sue back for defamation. Sometimes, entire networks end up under police investigation.

What may seem like a harmless activity – making sure that if adults are looking for children on the internet, they get caught doing it by adults rather than harming children – has dire consequences, both for communities and the children in question. Because vigilantes are operating outside of the justice system, they sometimes wind up trying to catch people the police are already aware of – and in some cases end up letting people walk away uncharged.

Ties To Antis?

If you are not familiar with the MAP community, you might not know that there are entire groups and networks of “antis” that harass and act very abusively towards any minor-attracted people, even if we say outright that we are against the sexual abuse of children and make this stance obvious through our actions. But if you ask these antis, they will say they do this to “protect children” and make sure minor attracted people are silenced.

How connected are these antis to hunter groups like Creep Catchers? Cutting to the truth of the matter is no easy feat. The answer appears obvious to me when we get comments like this one:

The other reality is this: We have antis on social media who are willing to dox, harass, manipulate, and suicide bait teenagers for trying to approach our communities for support in remaining law-abiding. In one case, antis outed the school of one minor, got an adult removed from their living situation via slandering them and in doing so drove a friend of that adult nearly to suicide before finding out the adult is fine.

In my time on Twitter – from February 2016 to January, 2021 – I have seen a lot of these anti groups and individuals come and go. In 2016, it was ducks and duck-themed vigilantes. In 2018, it was the Unbearables and Dani’s Dragons, later learned to be headed up by a Danielle J. Hutton, a heroin dealer out of Idaho who was being investigated by police for her online activities along with several others connected to her. Most recently, it is a group of individuals who are likely also under police investigation.

In short, the people who have attempted to stop law-abiding minor-attracted people have reasons why they do not want us to be destigmatized. The biggest reason? They know their abusive behavior will not be accepted if we gain acceptance, and they like acting abusively towards people without being held accountable for it. In short, they are internet bullies, not protectors of children.

You can say what you want about pedophiles, but at least they slow down in school zones – and we care enough about children to create support networks that do not tolerate abusive behavior. If mental health professionals and the world at large will not support us, then we will form our own support systems.