With the recent phenomenon of technology, one would think that it has come to help, but others misuse it. The idea of leaked sex tapes is not a novel concept in our current epoch. Though those who do so do it for varying reasons, it could have some debilitating effects on those involved; especially the women.
Nonconsensual pornography or leaked sex tapes is a relatively new phenomenon that has grown substantially in the past few years and involves uploading nude or semi-nude images/videos
of a person online without their consent.
According to a BBC story in April 2015, a 31-year-old from Mugnano, on the outskirts of Naples, sent a series of sex videos to five people via WhatsApp. The recipients included her boyfriend Sergio Di Palo, with whom she had an unstable relationship.
The videos showed her performing sex acts with a number of unidentified men. These and many other activities are some of the unfortunate ways in which some women and young female adults have been punished.
Persons either closer to them or total strangers have put either their nudes out in the public for various reasons. In some cases, some porn sites hack into e-mails and computers and gain access to these videos and later upload them.
Leaked Sex Tape, a new money-making venture
Today, thousands of young girls have been shamed or extorted because they had some sort of sexual encounter with a known person whom they least expected to betray them. According to one study, about 35% of sexual activities are monetized. This is far from prostitution.
Sone of the victims of this new profitable venture have had their nude pictures and sexual activities hosted on online platforms where these sites pay at least 1,000.00 to 5,000.00 GH to persons who produce these content.
One interesting thing about this is that leaked sex tapes generate a lot of traffic on these websites where people stream these videos live. Sometimes, those who sell these videos are foreigners who may have had casual sexual encounters with these young women and in some cases, few married women.
Individuals who have become victims of sextortion or leaked sex tapes were either blackmailed with the use of their own sexually explicit material that entailed pictures and videos to gratify another person’s demands in a sensual manner.
Reasons for unleashing or releasing sex tapes
Scores of research have revealed several reasons why people unleash sex tapes of the opposite sex. According to a study conducted by Samantha Bakes, it revealed that some websites are to blame. The study posited that these websites literally encourage others to leak such videos as a form of revenge and a money-making venture.
For instance, such a site as “isanyoneup.com” which was created in 2010 by Hunter Moore had about 10,000 lewd videos and pictures and earned up to US$13,000 per month in revenue due to advertising on the website.
Speaking with one culprit who unleashed nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend, Stephen* (Not real name). He told me that he had no option. He felt that was the best way to punish an ungrateful lover. According to Stephen, he had spent his entire fortune on his lady, Jessica.
“I was happy I did that. I don’t regret one bit. Jessica was ungrateful. I spent all my fortunes on her. Would you believe money meant for my mum’s surgery, I took part and gave it to her to pay her fees for her nursing studies. Upon being posted, she left me because I was not a medical doctor, not her dream kind of man”.
Obviously, I feel Stephen’s frustrations but the constitution, Electronic Communications Act of Ghana, 2008 (Act 775) discourages cyberbullying and revenge pornography which are all in addition human right breaches.
Regardless of how painful his situation is, he ought not to do so, but Stephen tells Obcommunication.com that he felt extremely satisfied by paying her back with some nude pictures he had sent to her godfather who was a priest at her church and other Whatsapp platforms.
Another victim who narrated how her sex tape got to the public domain explained that her sexual activity with her boyfriend had been recorded on her phone for purposes of masturbation. Esi, as I choose to call her for the purpose of the story, revealed that a phone repairer in her area had leaked her videos after she disagreed to sleep with him.
“He had proposed we had casual sex after he took out one night. We really enjoyed ourselves, but the night was ruined when he proposed we had casual sex. Out of anger and rage, I disrespected him and left him all alone. I had forgotten I had some sensitive content we both use to start our masturbation and online sex each time we feel for sex and we are not close to each other”.
She recounts that before she realized, her sex tape had been leaked onto a platform where her father was a participant on that platform and this caused her father medically.
“Unfortunately, my father developed stroke because he felt I had disgraced him. He was rushed to the hospital upon seeing the video and that was the cause of his stroke. Doctors said he could have died of cardiac arrest” she sobbed.
In some instances, there have been some few recorded cases where a couple would mistakenly send their nude pictures, videos and chats to some Whatsapp platforms where some church members and revered persons were participants on those pages.
Indeed, the spread of a leaked sex tape is not a joke, but a cause of great worry.
Effects on victims
The effects of a leaked sex tape or even revenge porn could be devastating just as seen in the early discussions.
One of the devastating effects of the leaked sex tape is a decline in mental health, which could either cause depression and other mental health-related diseases.
According to the story, the WWE star had a mental breakdown, explaining that she underwent therapy and suffered from “stress-induced anorexia”.
In 2017, Paige, whose real name is Saraya-Jade Bevis, fell victim to a highly-publicised leak of private photographs and videos. The leak, combined with a work-sustained injury, led to the Norwich-raised wrestling personality experiencing depression and taking time off work.
In a new interview with Fox News, the 27-year-old explained that she found it “hard to stay positive” after experiencing something that was “so publicly humiliating”.
“I did suffer a lot. I did. Just emotionally because at the time I was having my neck surgery too, and I had stress-induced anorexia,” Paige said.
Another side effect of nonconsensual pornography is the incident of public shame and humiliation. Esi, who earlier noted that her father had developed stroke said she felt ashamed and humiliated. Each time she goes to church, and sights two or more people giggle in her presence, she immediately feels embarrassed and naked to the world.
“Each time I go to church or even see two guys in a group giggling, I immediately feel ashamed and naked. My conscience tells me I have goofed and have become a laughing stock and disgrace to my family” she narrated.
She further goes on to add that “My boyfriend broke up with me because he felt I was careless and not faithful as I decided to go out with the repairer in the first place. He felt I had lowered my standard and become so cheap even phone repairers want a bite of their cherry”.
Others who may not feel the above mentioned may either lose their partners, family’s trust and to some extent job. According to research, once a photo or video is posted online, it stays there forever. Especially when one can easily download it, nothing stays on social temporarily. Everything stays there in perpetuity and this makes leaked sex tapes very dangerous.
In an attempt to reduce the emotional impacts of nonconsensual pornography, some women delete their online social media accounts. Removing all social media profiles often separates women from positive social connections with friends and family, as social media is a commonplace, contemporary way to stay connected with loved ones.
Apart from the Internet, in “real life,” some women completely alter their lives and
routines to minimize the impact of nonconsensual pornography.
According to another research conducted by Cohen-Amalgor in 2015, it revealed that the exposure could lead to emotional distress. Emotional distress may manifest in the form of anxiety, depression, or lower self-esteem.
Victims of leaked sex escapades would have to endure psychological trauma, shame and embarrassment, even loss of a job, mistrust of the family, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide and or trust issues including withdrawal symptoms.
So the next time you send nude videos out, be careful whom you send it to. Finally, to all those jilted individuals out there, remember, revenge porn is a big crime punishable by law.
BY: ONESIPHORUS OBUOBI
SOURCE: Obcommunication.com, Samantha Bakes and SAGE Publications