Editorial: Don’t click and share-A A +A
Sunday, September 16, 2012
TECHNOLOGY has created social revolutions that require the rewriting of etiquette, as set down by Emily Post or even the more sexually liberated Helen Gurley Brown.
According to Post, regarded as the “etiquette expert” since the early 1900s, in a broken engagement, the woman should “take the higher road” and return her engagement ring to the man unless the ring is an heirloom from her family.
Breaking up has become messy these days. Cheaper photo and video technology and the relaxation of sexual taboos have given rise to the practice among couples of taking and sharing images of explicit or sensitive nature.
Indiscretions preserved in digital file become converted from amatory keepsakes to arsenals of malice when relationships fall apart. As reported by Sun.Star Cebu’s Kevin A. Lagunda last Sept. 10, a man who circulated nude photos of his lover was charged by the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9995, or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009, and RA 9262, or the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
Instead of “taking the higher road” and returning a memory card containing files of intimate images, John e-mailed these photos to associates of Cindy, his former girlfriend, after she resisted his attempt to blackmail her.
RA 9995 addresses the rights of persons who are compromised when photos or video images are taken or broadcasted that show their naked or “undergarment-clad private areas” or their performance or participation in the sexual act or similar activities.
Many of the recent sex scandals involve photo and video voyeurism of unwary victims, usually women, with the images ending up posted and reposted on the Internet or sold to the pirated disc market.
However, RA 9995 still applies even when the subjects of the photos or videos gave their consent to take the photos or record the coverage.
RA 9995 prohibits four specific acts: taking photo or video coverage of person or persons in the sexual act or their private areas; copying or reproducing such images with or without considerations; selling or distributing the images; and publishing in print, broadcasting, showing or exhibiting the recordings through VCD/CD, Internet, cellular phones and other devices.
While the law repairs injured rights, the damage on reputation argues for greater discretion in conducting oneself before any recording device, especially the human eyes that are prone to malice.
The anecdote behind one sex scandal began with a busted laptop. When the owner had this repaired, the technician succeeded and recovered all the files, which included images showing the laptop owner cavorting with another prominent member of society.
The images were reproduced and sold well in the underground market.
Lovers should keep in mind that not only can passion wane and curdle, there are all kinds of predators lurking in the Internet, where anyone and anything can be turned into a commodity or even shared for free.
The thread of comments to the Sun.Star Cebu article posted on www.sunstar.com.ph reveals that John may be getting his comeuppance for breaking the classic etiquette of “don’t kiss and tell,” but Cindy’s privacy and dignity remain open game in the jungles of the Net.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 17, 2012.