Barnwell, S.C. (WJBF) – Imagine sharing one of the happiest days of your life, only to have it shattered by one person’s post on social media. That’s what happened to one local radio DJ who says he’s proof that cyberbullying doesn’t discriminate.
Devalle Townsend, is most commonly known as DJ Flock on 97.9 The WIIZ. But most recently he’s become known as a victim of cyber bullying.
“When I saw it, I was like ‘well Facebook is Facebook, people are cruel. But it just kept going and going and going,” said Devalle Townsend, radio DJ and cyberbully victim.
It all started around Valentine’s Day, when he posted a Live Facebook video of his proposal. A week later he received a message from a friend asking if he and his fiance were HIV positive? Apparently a website link called Stdcarriersdatabase.com was being shared saying they were, when Townsend says that’s just not true.
“Devalle Townsend, AKA DJ Flock from 97.9 The WIIZ has HIV and he’s spreading it, has been spreading it, through South Carolina and Georgia,” said Townsend.
He hired attorney Titus Nicholas, thinking there was a quick fix to this just by getting the site taken down where it originated. But turns out it’s just not that easy.
“Once I started looking at the webpage I realized that there’s not real information on that website. Everything on there is anything anybody can type up,” said Titus Nichols, Townsend’s attorney.
And someone did, at Townsend and his fiance’s expense. But the bigger problem is that because the photo of him used for this fake site was on Facebook, which is a public site, it makes it harder to track down that one person who started the rumor.
The website is actually registered in the Bahamas and has an 800 number but no one answered when Nichols called.
“The location in the Bahamas is really just a placeholder where you can use an address and a telephone number to register your website so that it takes anyone off the trail of who really set up the website,” said Nichols.
Townsend says he’s doing all he can to clear their names, even going on Facebook Live showing the results of their HIV tests which were negative.
“Me being a public figure people were looking at me like ‘oh he’s the radio guy, does he have it? oh i used to mess with him back in the day, does he have it? ‘,” said Townsend.
Even if you Google “Devalle Townsend” ou can see it auto populates his name plus HIV positive.
“The best thing is for Mr. Townsend and his fiance to put their story out there, to let people know that A.) This website is fake and B.) This is a prime example of cyber bullying,” said Nichols.
“You can’t stop it. Just like you can’t stop crime. But I’m trying to put a dent into it. I want to help stop cyber bullying,” said Townsend.
Nichols did send an official letter to Google and Facebook asking them to take down the site from their sites. Here’s a copy of that letter:
As of Thursday, April 20th Nichols had not received a response.
So why can’t Facebook be prosecuted for allowing a fake site like this to be on Facebook? Take a listen as Nichols explains: