Did sheriff’s department make a boo-boo about Pedobear?

September 12, 2010

This one is a little hard to explain, so bear with us.

It appears that the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s department has made a boo-boo about an Internet bear that is starting to prompt national ridicule our way. [Huffington Post]

The controversy surrounds an illustration of a bear that is referred to as “Pedobear.” It is an Internet “meme” for popping up whenever people are being creepy about children online.

One local parent explains Pedobear this way:  “Pedobear began on a site called 4chan.com. 4chan is a forum-like site where huge amounts of data, especially images, are traded. It basically started as a site to discuss and distribute Japanese Anime. Whenever someone would post an anime image which had a female of questionable age, people would post an image of the Pedobear as a joke.

“It took off from there and just became a general Internet meme. It is most certainly not used by pedophiles, but rather intended to make fun of pedophiles. It has been used with images of Catholic priests, for example, to imply they are pedophiles.”

However, the Sheriff’s office released a stern warning last week about Pedobear, a figure they called “A Seemingly Innocent Menace.” The official release cited how someone dressed in a Pedobear costume was asked by police to leave the Comic-Con convention in San Diego last July.

“Pedobear is and should be associated with the Internet and  pedophiles/sexually preferential offenders who supposedly use him to communicate their interests in children with one another,” suggested the Sheriff’s department in a press release that was dutifully labeled “For Adult Consumption Only.”

Locally, KSBY reported on the Sheriff’s warning without question and ran it as a straight forward news story, one that has now been picked up nationally by MSNBC. The KSBY story is being inundated with negative comments from viewers angry at KSBY’s reporting on Pedobear.

The widely-read Huffington Post, however, had a different take on the story Sunday night, posting the KSBY video on its Comedy Page.  “He isn’t, in any way, a mascot or supporter for pedophilia, but you wouldn’t know that if you had just watched this news report about California’s San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department alerting the public about this potentially dangerous symbol. It’s pretty hilarious that they cite the bear’s appearance on car bumper stickers and “an event in southern California” (a.k.a Comic-Con?) as evidence of it being a public menace.”

“But the ridiculous scare tactic doesn’t stop there,” the Huffington Post continues. “Gawker confirmed with the police that they are aware that it is an Internet joke, but that they have still considered it a mascot for molestation.”

The online site Gawker claims that Pedobear even met the Pope once. They also struggle to contain their sarcasm in reporting the story under the headline “Stupid California Police Warn Parents of Pedobear.”

Writes Gawker, “Pedobear is a meme featuring a cute cartoon bear who pops up wherever people are being creepy about kids on the Internet. Cops in California don’t understand this, and have issued a hilarious warning about Pedobear.

“The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, who can’t be bothered to look up Pedobear’s extensive Wikipedia entry, issued a very serious warning about Pedobear last week, as seen in the news report above.

“The news report on KSBY-TV includes one of these Southern California ‘sightings’: A guy in a Pedobear costume next to a man holding a baby. The baby’s father is just blithely standing next to a dangerous pedophile! Actually, no. That picture was taken at Comic Con. The person inside the costume—and anyone spotted with pedobear paraphernalia—is a nerd who spends too much time on the Internet.”

Said the local parent, “They have taken something completely out of context and the fact that they are serious about this is really really disconcerting. This story has now gone national and once again we look like a bunch of idiots here in SLO. I called the Sheriff’s office and left a message questioning whether this was some kind of joke, and suggesting that they do a little bit of research next time.”


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29 Comments

  1. cheseburger says:

    , missing post

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Alon_Perlman says:

    If the Sherriff department’s flyer is genuine, and not a hoax in itself, then this belong in the “Week’s Dumbest Law Enforcement” category – it is simply POORLY WRITTEN as an Alert. Too long, too confusing. Read it at the link above. How about this-
    “Note to parents educators, librarians. This image [IMAGE] referred to as pedobear is sometimes associated with questionable images. If you see it on an internet site that your child is accessing, pay attention to additional content, consider restricting access and contact this.#”
    END there. one paragraph is enough.
    Even if the image was a true Underground handshake, rather a smily face equivalent of “Hey, clear off this site”

    Read both pages.(Thanks kettell for adding page 2) This isn’t a professional functional Alert””Advice” It’s Soap box trashy editorialising. missuse of the functionality of an alert.

    That flier could then be posted at libraries (with the inevitable outcome that teenagers will start googling pedobear and images).

    —————————————————————————————————–
    Now here is what is really happening-
    A Fringe group of bear haters decided to their twisted divisionism philosophy onto the internet. These Hate fomenters, angry at these perceived injustices from long before there was an internet, are, yes, you guessed it. Unhuman Foreigners

    The Beaver Brigade of Province de-Alberta is behind this.
    Look at the flyer! Isn’t it obvious now? Look closely at the face. The photograph with the bag.
    It’s not a bear. It’s a fully grown angry beaver with teeth!

    Real News by Real People©.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  3. avidgonadnote says:

    What is really horrible about this is that Rob Brynn draws a paycheck for making slo really look like we all came off the short bus. Hey Rob, let me fill you in on a couple of other items: Emails from Nigeria are bad, Emails that offer 20% growth of your member are bad (sorry), Nobody’s dog dug up the neighbors rabbit and Microsoft is not going to give you $1000 for passing on a chain letter. Look them up on snopes.com.
    Idiot
    I feel sorry for all the Grateful Dead fans who will be pulled over in their vw micro buses sporting the dancing bear.

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  4. gemor says:

    People post pedobear in threads when they want people to stop posting questionable images. Do you know what else they post in recent years for this purpose as well as pedobear? Chris Hansen.

    Just watch, the next story will explain how pedos are using Chris Hansen as a ‘mascot for molestation’.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  5. ososkid says:

    This will go right up there with the Arm the Homeless campaign, and if you dont know what that is, well its the best april fools joke ever and once again KSBY took the bait http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–nRQHAMcco

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • cheseburger says:

      GIVE ME ONE LOGICAL REASON A HOMELESS MAN HAS LESS RIGHT TO DEFEND HIMSELF THAN YOU LET’S SAY.

      (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
      • Cindy says:

        Cripes Chese, Did you watch the video that ososkid posted? It was a hoax. It was about a guy going around giving homeless people free loaded guns!

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
        • cheseburger says:

          Okay, well say you are a young beautiful woman which I know you are, so if you got evicted and were forced to sleep on the street, would a snub nose thirty-eight, sharing the sleeping bag help you sleep? I rest my case.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  6. Nancy says:

    The latest (3rd) KSBY update is a joke. Talk about a whole lot of back peddling. Compare the update to the original story. You won’t find any statements like this,
    From original story (click on link provided in CCN story): “The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department is warning parents about a disturbing new phenomenon made popular by pedophiles and sexual deviants.”
    “Recently, pedophiles have adopted the bear as a mascot.”

    Why can’t KSBY and the SLOSD just admit that they were wrong rather than claim that they just want to warn people that they are being “desensitized” by the idea of Pedobear?
    DISGUSTING journalism.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  7. Vagabond says:

    Oh, my dear SLO burbs, thank you so much for adding content to the creators of South Park
    My ghod, I think my intelligence doubled by moving away.
    Keep up the good work, the world is laughing at you.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  8. avidgonadnote says:

    This weekend is Sheriff’s family day at the Madonna Inn property. Downtown brown should be in attendance.

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down

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