Social media post falsely accuses man of sex trafficking, goes viral

Published: Oct. 26, 2018 at 10:20 PM CDT
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A social-media post that went viral, even winding up on Craigslist, falsely accuses a Liberal, Kan. man of sex trafficking.

The post includes Shawn Glidewell's picture with a warning claiming he's involved with sex trafficking. After the false claim, Glidewell worries about the safety for him and his family.

How did this happen? Glidewell would like an answer to that question. He says the last few days have been taxing, simply trying to clear his name after the widespread false accusation.

"It was appalling to be honest with you," Glidewell says. "I couldn't believe what I was reading, even to be associated with that type of behavior or lifestyle. It was just astounding."

He says the photo of him in the post was taken from his Facebook page. He says he first saw the post Wednesday when he was scrolling through Facebook. At first, he didn't realize how serious it was until he saw how many people had seen it.

Glidewell says he reported the post to Facebook and the post was removed from that site. But the damage was done.

Glidewell thought the situation was over until a Liberal police detective knocked on his door, telling him about a separate post on Craigslist.

Liberal police say there is no evidence Glidewell is involved in sex trafficking. And while Glidewell says he's aware of what the post could do to his reputation, he's more concerned about his family's safety.

"Somebody is victimizing me in this nature, but they don't realize they're victimizing people who care about me and that their livelihood and welfare is on the line too," he says. And in my eyes, that's just sad."

Eyewitness News reached out to Craigslist Friday afternoon. We've learned the post falsely accusing Glidewell has since been removed.