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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Cindy

UNBELIEVABLE

From KSBY latest update: “”The Pedobear symbol that initially came out meant something else and now it’s kind of morphed into some other things,” said Rob Bryn, a spokesman for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department. “There’s some intelligence information indicating that it’s being used by child molesters, whether that’s true or not I can’t speak to that directly.”


This guy is off his rocker. It isn’t even possible for pedophiles to adopt this symbol. 99.99% of the people using this symbol are “all about” locking up pedophiles! So how can they possibly hope to make a connection with other pedophiles?


mkaney

“whether that’s true or not I can’t speak to that directly.” He can’t speak to that directly, but despite that he’s still wiling to stand behind his bulletin and risk giving people totally bogus information. I am surprised they even bothered to make any statement at all, given how they generally work. It might have been better for Bryn though..


“better to be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”


Cindy

KSBY has updated the update. The latest update has removed the part that quotes Bryn as saying

““There’s some intelligence information indicating that it’s being used by child molesters, whether that’s true or not I can’t speak to that directly.”

He is now claiming that he passed on the bulletin from San Diego because he believes that Pedobear is being used in a way that desensitizes people! Since when is it the job of the Sheriffs Dept to disseminate false information and then claim that they are doing it because we all aren’t sensitive enough? I can’t believe that KSBY has gone along with this rather than just admit that they made a mistake.


Saveslocounty

This is really not very funny. We try to rely on our law enforcement to keep our children safe and the last thing we need is misinformation. Even the press release title is a failed attempt at humor and very inappropriate to even remotely reference the appetite of a child molester; “For Adult Consumption Only.” Please give us a new sheriff who is an educated leader to work with and for the people of this county and stop the nonsense, especially when dealing with our children.


MarkJames

Ha Ha Ha, Yes SLOSD has it right, Pedobear is a pedophile. He is also hated by all other Pedophiles (including the SLOSD) while embraced by main stream society. How about that? We should all keep an eye out for Pedobear because he can be in 10,000 places all at the same time. He is known for trolling the internet looking for pictures of sexualized children and jumping into the photo with them. He reads online chats and when he see’s children having conversations with someone that he thinks is a little bit “hot” he jumps in there and leaves his photo letting everyone know that he was there, he can’t stand to miss out on anything that involves exploiting children. Pedobear brings a lot of attention to himself and other pedophiles run like hell when they see him around because they don’t want to be associated with such a blatant voyeur. Watch out for PEDOBEAR and the SLOSD, they might be sporting a Pedobear sticker on everyone of their cars pretty soon!


Nancy

There is ridiculous and then there is just plain STUPID. Parents have developed a means of warning each other when they see something that doesn’t feel right. This is a world wide means of sending each other alerts, particularly over the internet and the crazy SLO Sheriffs department comes along and announces to everybody that we are all pedophiles! When you see a pedobear sticker on a car it means that the family is a part of the network and is passing the word on. Seriously, what pedophile would put a slicker on his car saying that he is a pedophile? What pedophile would tag all the little kids on the internet that he likes and make it obvious that he has tagged them? What idiot would tell everybody that these people using this meme are pedophiles? I have the answer to that third question, the SLOSD would, that’s who. SLOSD, why don’t you worry about the criminals working in your department for a start and stay off the internet. You might actually do something intelligent.


Bob

SLO Sheriff Department + Rob Bryn = “Stupid Is As Stupid Does”


Cindy

Oh No, LMAO, Literally am LOL. Even I knew what Pedobear was and I don’t have any young children around. My friend pointed it out to me last month when her 4th grader was on line looking at “kid pageants”. She was telling me about all the little girls that want to be in the kiddie beauty pageants and how many people frown upon the makeup and costumes as “evidenced by all the pedobear tags”.


No doubt this blooper is going to go viral just like the recent video of the SLOSD violating so many of Matt Harts civil rights. Over two million citizens have already viewed that outrage. I wonder how many hits this latest SLOSD boondoggle will have. Can elections come too soon for us?


PaulJones

Looks like it has already started going viral. KSBY has 57,000 views already!

This is going to be a hugh joke on San Luis Obispo! It’s also causing views to go up on the KCCN TV video.


LMAO ” nice gun’s, that’s the exact one that I want, that one right there”.


mkaney

Likely the Sheriff’s department will never acknowledge this mistake. But there is something more important to be learned from this experience.


When the subject of surveilliance comes up and people say “If you’re not doing anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about”… this is exactly the kind of thing that innocent people ARE worried about. Gross misinterpretation which could lead to social stigma or even incarceration is what we risk when we allow our police state to grow.


danika

What is the SLO Sheriff’s offical response to the egg on their faces? Oops, I did it again??


kettle

Heh, not the first time San Luis Obispo sherrifs office lands on the front page of Fark (with 345+ comments) http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=5615107


Where do they get these or was $ time spent writing this thing? A self inflicted prank!


zaphod

It would be interesting to know who fed this to the Sheriff’s spokesmen in the first place, paranoid evangelicals or twisted nerd hoaxers, very funny.


zaphod

Last seen Thursday night


kettle

Comic Con: Lots of costumes no bears… Forever will bear costumes be suspect, state wide.


Here is the warning from Det Jim Jones of the San Diego PD Task Force :

Page 1 http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/7/2010/09/500x_pedo1.jpg

Page 2 http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/7/2010/09/500x_pedo2.jpg


Some one better keep an eye on Our own DownTown Brown:

” A giant cuddly “Downtown Brown” bear is there to offer free hugs to kids. ”

http://www.sanluisobispocounty.com/visitors/san-luis-obispo-activities/shopping-spa/farmers-market/


http://www.downtownslo.com/images/promotions/promo_downtown_brown_bday.jpg

Downtown Brown’s Birthday Party is one of the greatest kids’ events of the year at Farmers’ Market. ( http://www.downtownslo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31:downtown-browns-birthday-party&catid=3:promotions&Itemid=15 )


Whats that story? When they came for the bears…. I said nothing…


Lock up your snowflakes!

Nanny State indeed.


BeenThereDoneThat

L.E.O.’s in S.L.O. county looking like idiots? And with there steller past in the last couple years!?? Hard to believe. (Sarcasm intended) Hell they probably thought “Smoky the Bear”, was “smoking reefer”.