The Notion of Authenticity: Internet Sex Video, Cyber blackmail, and Privacy. Part 2. (12) (video 5)

~ Part 1Part 2 ~

What we have here is a multi-textual event which can be experienced and read by the Youtube viewer in several different ways.

Especially relevant to this event is Michel Foucault’s idea that “It is no longer a question simply of saying what was done—the sexual act—and how it was done; but of reconstructing, in and around the act, the thoughts that recapitulated it, the obsessions that accompanied it, the images, desires, modulations, and quality of the pleasure that animated it” (p. 63).

Some aspects of this multi-textual event:

  • The majority of videos which have emerged from users condemn Cap’n for his publication of the sex video against a woman’s will.
  • Many users have commented on Fakesagan’s and Oshunavani’s channels expressing their sorrow for Oshunavani’s embarrassment and public shaming.
  • Other users have requested the web address of the pornographic images of Oshunavani, openly signaling a lack of compassion for the victim.
  • Still other users have made the point that Oshunavani was foolish to record a digital sex video.
  • Yet still others have made the point that the whole event has been over-dramatized and claim that they see nothing interesting about being involved in such a drama.
  • A user can experience the drama played out on Youtube by seeing the videos and images associated with the dramatic event. It is more authentic and dare I say more entertaining than any reality TV show could ever dream of being.
  • At the same time, the “realness” of it means there are real victims and real psychological and physical consequences to actions in the virtual community.
  • Fakesagan, usually a promoter of rational thinking and free speech, has found himself at odds with an abusive act of free speech, and has promised legal consequences and has both requested and hinted at physical retribution.
  • At the same time, TheAmazingAtheist has claimed that Fakesagan cannot truly express himself on Youtube without crossing some legal boundaries by threatening Kevin’s life. He also points out that while it is possible to be entertained by the drama, that is is not just a “Youtube drama” but a real event played out in video.
  • Most importantly, a human being has been the victim of public humiliation, and, according to her boyfriend, is in a depressed state and has not left her bed since the release of the images.

What is interesting about this event is the dynamics of confession and the pre-formed discourse which states that private sexual acts are seen as shameful when they are made public. Even though most of those who see the video do not know Oshunavani and those who she does know will most likely express compassion towards her, the trauma was immediate and a victimized position was assumed.

What is intensely ironic about this event is that the primary popularization of the pornographic images came through one of the victim’s (Fakesagan’s) account of the drama and the audience’s reaction. As Capnoawesome’s Youtube profile has been closed, there is little other publicity associated with the porn images. Fakesagan’s decision to break his Youtube blackout was perhaps shortsighted. Although, Cap’n might not have closed his account if Fakesagan had not made threatening video replies.

If Fakesagan and the audience which has largely condemned Capnoawesome deleted their videos, perhaps Oshunavani would be spared some publicity.

My apologies go out to Oshunavani for any additional humiliation the publication of this blog may cause. I do not mean to popularize the drama associated with this event, merely to analyze its functioning in relation to the powerful discursive forces all of us face during our every day lives.

~

Sources:

Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. Retrieved from: http://web.missouri.edu/~materert/434/Foucault.html

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