Predator Poachers (PP) is a US-based vigilante group founded by controversial online influencer and banned YouTuber Alex Rosen in 2019. PP is mainly known for its shocking confrontations with suspected "predators", which are filmed and then posted on the internet. Humiliation and vulgar humor are central to the videos, and Rosen has stated that he plans his stings with this in mind. In one interview, Rosen stated: "I've been threatened with a gun — not pointed at me, but threatened. (...) It's a risk we're willing to take. (...) In the end, if you want to make the world around you better, you've got to sacrifice something or be willing to sacrifice something. There's no reward if there's no risk." In 2020, PP had 14 affiliates, but had to cut to 7 due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Rosen has stated that the group (after a full two years of operation) had only 10 pending or successful convictions vs over 300 "potential predators" exposed.
Stings, and controversy
PP has conducted multiple sting operations against suspected "child predators" in the US. During these operations, the group, composed of volunteers, would pose as minors on social media for the purpose of contacting and then confronting potential "predators" in real life, often while recording the encounter. Rosen said that a big part of making PP's videos was to make them entertaining. Those confrontations have included the use of racist language ("Nigger"), the use of real minors as decoys, verbal attacks and deliberately instigated fights. The group is also known for its confrontation with online influencer Deyione Eason (known online as EDP445), causing controversy resulting in PP's suspension from YouTube for the second time, as well as for Eason.
Aside from conducting sex stings, the group has also produced videos and livestreams on social media, where its founder uttered racist slurs, including while prank-calling a Black Lives Matter hotline, as well as one video where he joked about giving a 3-year-old child "plenty of D". PP has had two accounts banned from YouTube and one removed from Instagram. The group was also criticized by the director of the Special Victims Unit from Kentucky's Office of the Attorney General due to its "terribly dangerous" conduct.
Use of minors
Rosen stated that he had been using minors as baits for his videos.
During one sting operation, a minor that PP had used as a decoy said the target was "touching and kissing me and trying to hold my hand." A 2020 video of a sting operation by PP also contained footage of Alex Rosen's 16-year-old cousin unbuckling and taking off his pants in front of a suspected "predator".
Rosen is known for a no-holds-barred approach to expressing the once latent pedophobia developed earlier on in his tortured existence:
I literally just yell in someone’s face and make them feel shitty.
- Wikipedia - Even more meticulously detailed analysis (archived, as cowardly administrators deleted it).
- FOX 40: Vigilante ‘Predator Poachers’ come to Sacramento. Archived.
- Yahoo: A YouTuber with 2 million subscribers was accused of messaging a fake 13-year-old in a vigilante sting operation. Archived.
- Insider: A predator hunting YouTuber and a man seemingly caught in a sting both had their channels removed by the platform. Archived.
- Armed With Cell Phones, Not Badges, Amateur Predator Catcher Groups Are Sprouting Up Across Northeast Ohio. Archived.
- "Predator Poachers" publicly shame adults accused of trying to prey on young kids.
- Have A Seat With Chris Hansen ft. Wes Moast, CC Unit, Alex, & Daniel Warner discussing.
- Daily Dot: Video: Popular YouTuber caught by ‘Predator Poachers’ allegedly trying to meet with 13-year-old girl.
- WKYT Investigates Vigilante justice. Archived.