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

The Notion of Authenticity: Internet Sex Video, Cyber blackmail, and Privacy. Part 1. (11) (video 4)

A recent drama which unfolded in the virtual Youtube community is at the same time part cautionary fable and part illustration of the dynamics of Internet rule breaking and making – the exercise of ethics and the discourses of confession, truth, shame, and vengeance.

If what Fakesagan claims is true, the drama went something like this…

Some time ago a user named Capnoawesome (Kevin) and Oshunavani hooked up, and recorded their sexual adventures on digital video.

Then along came a user named Fakesagan, who stole away Oshunavani with his niceness and principled openness versus Capnoawesome’s apparent neurotic behaviour and abusive control.

Cap’n and Fakesagan began an online spat the details of which I know little, suffice to say a spat which culminated in Cap’n calling for a boxing match.

Later, frightened by Fakesagan’s superior intellect and physical size, Cap’n blackmailed Oshunavani into silencing Fakesagan’s attacks and calls for a physical confrontation. If Fakesagan did not stop his online effrontery then Cap’n would release the digital video and images of Oshunavani having sex to his sizeable Youtube audience of 20,000 subscribers.

Oshunavani convinced her boyfriend Fakesagan to halt his campaign against Cap’n and the videos and images were not released at the time.

But Oshunavani’s immense fear of being publicly humiliated was not put to rest as Cap’n arbitrarily decided to release the images on Feb. 9/09 (not a link to the images, but a cache of his video diary) on Encyclopedia Dramatica, making it unlikely that they will ever be removed.

Previously unaware of the blackmail or the sex video, Fakesagan reacted to Cap’n in an emotional and authentic manner on his Youtube account:

“If I really believed you could make that shit go away I would do whatever the fuck you wanted. I would leave Youtube … I would say I’m a bitch … and Kevin is a big man. But you can’t make that shit go away. A million people have fucking downloaded it so if you take it down its going to be up again in five minutes. You have no power to reverse this and you have nothing left to blackmail me with. My videos are the only fucking revenge I am going to get.”

In one particularly emotional and authentic moment, Fakesagan says “I’ll wear gloves, I’ll tie a fucking arm behind my back… I will walk into an ambush. I don’t give a shit if I get my ass kicked. I just want to feel my fucking fist connect with your face one God damn time! … You said you didn’t put that shit on the Internet to hurt Oshun. Bullshit! You fucking humiliated her!”

In a later video, Fakesagan swears that Kevin will face consequences. If not criminal or civil charges, then he says the matter will “be settled” otherwise. Presumably in a physical confrontation.

~ Analysis Continued in Part 2 ~

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 9:22 pm  Comments (4)