Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cyber-Stupidity, in Addition to Other Issues

Fifteen-year-old Audrie Potts recently took her own life after seeing online video footage of her being sexually while unconscious at a party.  This is horrible on so many levels that I scarcely know where to begin. First and foremost, I wish this poor gorl had known that anyone with half of a functioning frontal lobe who saw or knew of this footage would have been on her side and not on the side of the thugs who abused her and thought their actions were worthy of online posting. no one with an ounce of humanity would have found anything funny in this act.

Perverts, rapists, and such have been around since before the time of  Christ.  What's new to the equation is technology.  I understand why third parties tape others in the commision of a crime and use the footage to bring the guilty party or parties to justice. Likewise, I understand why others film law enforcement officers exceeding what would be deemed "necessary force" in apprehending accused criminals. What I don't understand at all is why anyone would be stupid enough to film himself and/or his friends in the commission of a violent act, period, much less to go on to post it onto an online source.  Perhaps some crimes carry higher status among reprobates than do other crimes, but would these people videotape themselves breaking into a pharmacy after hours to steal drugs (they'd probably be so stupid that they'd walk out of there, if they were lucky enough to evade authorities, with pockets full of blood pressure medications and prescription-strength laxatives)? There don't seem to be a great deal of online video-footage sites featuring theft, vandalism, or other sorts of crime along such lines. Instead, it's usually sexual and/or violent crimes that are posted.  There must be more of a market for this sort of "entertainment."  I don't understand this, either, but apparently there are people out there in the cyber-world who get their jollies by watching such smut.

Perhaps I am an anti-constitutionalist -- a person who would undermine the first amendment rights of others --  but along with the right to host a website that allows individuals to submit videos should come responsibilities.  A person owning such a site should be responsible for monitoring the content. The person operating the web site should  have a very limted time , say thirty six hours, to remove and forward to the proper authorities anything criminal, particularly if the crime in question possibly involves a minor and/or is of a sexual or violent nature. If  the job is too cumbersome for YouTube or whomever else is allowing such illegal activity to be shown, perhaps the website operator needs to hire more staff to monitor the viideos posted or scale back its operations.

Perhaps existing laws need to be amended as well. I'm not an expert on what laws presently exist pertaining to the filming of rape or other forms of violence, but if they donesits, they need to be more aggressively enforced. In the instance of the filming (or posting) of anyone under eighteen  while being sexually assaulted, it would seem obvious that child pornography laws should apply in addition to any other charges. Laws should also exist for the filming and/or online posting of those over the age of eighteen being sexually assaulted or perhaps even physically assaulted. If this means government is taking away too many of our person freedoms, I don't really care. Take them away. (People who have a problem with the number of laws we have in the U. S. could always move to a nation with fewer laws. Somalia might be a good choice, as very few laws exist there.) Give the idiots who videotape and post such heinous activity something to think about before they pull out their cell phones and start taping as they take turns with whatever unconscious, overpowered, or otherwise incapacitated female (or male) who happens to be at the wrong party at the wrong time.

I'm not advocating underage drinking to the point of unconsciousness, but in the late Audrie Potts' case, we have no idea if that is what happened. Someone could have slipped something into her soda. It happened to a friend of mine. I suspect it happens more frequently than we would like to think.

Videotape was taken of my assault  by one of the two girls who were involved.   All that was visible of me, which was more than enough as far as I'm concerned, was a full-body shot  with nudity from the waist down; no sexual action occurred as the attacker was unable to maintain n erection. The police made a good guess as to what the cell phone's function was in the incident, and confiscated it to confirm their suspicions. The others had cell phones on them but no pertinent video footage was found. (Perhaps the police should have blurred my face and  body and posted the rest of the tape on YouTube; the the thug's limp organ once I threw up might have made for some interesting footage for his friends and family.)  I don't believe  charges pertaining to the videotaping of the incident were a part of the various charges that were made, or at least not included in the final plea bargain. That was over two years ago, though. Let's hope the legal system is at least in the process of catching up wih technology.

I don't know what I would have done if I had seen video footage online of myself being sexually assaulted. I would hope my reaction would have been to get even, not to end my own life. I haven't been in that exact situation, though. My thoughts are certainly with the family and with poor Audrie, whom I like to think is in a much happier place now, though that's probably of little consolation to her family now.

Sexually assaulting someone is horrific enough. Videotaping and broadcasting the attack online is beyond horrific. On the other hand, in theory, it should make it easier to apprehend and prosecute the morons who perpetrate such acts.  How stupid does a person hve to be to commit a felony and then to post video evidence of the act online?

My hope is that the victims understand that, humiliated as any of us would feel, the shame belongs elsewhere than upon the victim. Additionally, let's hope that the websites can take greater  reponsibility in catching and removing footage illegal acts of violence and in turning over evidence to the proper authorities.

I'm not sure I believe in a literal Hell, but if I'm wrong, I hope those involved in attacking Audrie Potts and in videotaping it enjoy a long and miaerable eternity there. In the meantime, my wish is for our justice system to function as it is desgned to function so as to maximize the time spent incarceration for each and every person involved in this despicable act. I don't particularly care how young they may have been, how bright their futures might have been, how they spent Saturday mornings volunteering in soup kitchens, that they were on track for admission to Stanford, or anything else.  I hope the rest of their lives are Hell on Earth.

1 comment:

  1. Some people are stupid. Especially people who film themselves perpetrating a crime.

    I feel sorry for Audrie Potts' family. What a senseless and tragic loss for them.