Perverted Justice is an online anti-pedophile vigilante organization. Its main method is to pose in online chat rooms as underage boys or girls and attract adult men. These men are then exposed either on the organization's website or through the "To Catch a Predator" segment on NBC's Dateline show, and subsequently arrested by law enforcement officers.
The organization is criticized for its shadowy methods, its vigilante ideology, and its desire to destroy lives rather than serve justice. (ABC News, 10 January 2005; 10 Zen Monkeys, 2 October 2006) The U.S. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has also criticized the organization. Tina Schwartz, NCMEC director of communication, has said: "It's really not the safest, most effective way to combat this problem ... From what I've seen ... they embarrass the people, but I don't know that complete justice is ever served". (Roanoke Times, 22 January 2005)
Child-safety advocate Julie Posey describes Perverted-Justice's tactics as "a gross invasion of privacy." Posey indicates that she doesn't feel their methods are completely effective, "What it does is embarrass them for the moment... but then they'll go and get a different screen name and know to check things out a little more thoroughly next time." (ABC news, 10 January 2005)
Posey and Perverted Justice founder Xavier Von Erck appeared on Fox News shortly thereafter. Regarding the Perverted Justice website, Posey remarked, "It’s more of an entertainment site, actually. You go there, you click on a link of a picture that takes you to that person’s chat-log and that person has a scale—a sliminess scale as he calls it—and you can rate the pervert from, I think it’s one to five. To me, that kind of gives a sense of entertainment. Anybody that finds entertainment value in exploiting children, I have a problem with it." (Fox News, January 2005)