This couple went viral when they were arrested for dumping trash in a wildlife preserve.
Hocking County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

They broke the law in a way that offends most people. But does making them go viral help anything?

Back in July, a couple was caught on camera illegally dumping trash - car tires, televisions, and other debris - into a wildlife preserve in Hocking County, Ohio.

At first, police were not able to identify the couple but they had video of the incident. So, they posted that video to their Facebook page asking for help.


As it turns out, the police were able to eventually identify the couple on their own and in August charged them with a misdemeanors for illegal dumping and driving a vehicle in an unlicensed area.

However, since the time the video was first posted it has gone viral, with nearly a million people viewing the footage on the police department’s Facebook page alone.

After charging the couple with a crime, the department also chose to publicly share their names on the same viral Facebook video post.

Needless to say, most of the comments have been mean, some even vicious. And it raises a question over whether sharing their names is truly in the best interest of the public.

Illegal Dumping

***UPDATE***UPDATE***UPDATE***UPDATE***Based on tips we received as a direct result of this post, we identified the two individuals. The Ohio Division of Wildlife, with the assistance of the Perry County Sheriff’s Office and their Litter Control Deputy, made contact with the two who confessed to dumping items at multiple locations.Corey Webb and Amanda Pyke, both of Perry County, were charged with Littering on State Property and Operating a Vehicle in a Non-Designated Area, both of which are misdemeanors.The Hocking County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio Division of Wildlife would like to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who assisted with identifying the pair.***UPDATE***UPDATE***UPDATE***UPDATE***The Hocking County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio Division of Wildlife is asking for the public's assistance in identifying two individuals in an trash dumping investigation. In July, a male and female were captured on video illegally dumping various items inclusing televisions and tires on Sand Run Road in a Wildlife Preserve Area. If you have information on the identity of the two individuals, please contact the Hocking County Sheriff's Office at 740-385-2131 or by sending us a message.

Posted by Hocking County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, August 29, 2018

They’ll pay for their crime as they should -- but do they deserve to be publicly shamed?

The Hocking County Police Department certainly did nothing illegal by sharing the couple’s name. And it’s within reason to argue that a “public shaming” of this sort could help deter future potential dumpers from unloading their trash in a wildlife preserve.

At the same time, there’s a lot we don’t know about the couple, whom we are choosing to not name in this article.

Surely, they knew dumping trash was illegal. But what we don’t know is why they did it - was it for economic reasons, a lack of understanding about accessible options for discarding trash, or something else? While it’s possible they were twirling their proverbial mustaches as they did this, it seems more likely the couple wanted an easy way to dump their trash and weren’t too concerned about where they left it.

That’s not good. But now their names are forever in the public eye and not just in the sense that they are available to the public record.

Social media has increasingly become a platform to shame people -- causing excessive destructive to people’s personal lives when anonymous audiences spew hellfire through the protection of digital walls.

What do you think?

Should the police have posted their names or simply said the crime had been solved and entered the name into the public record where concerned citizens or journalists could track it down?

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.