It is one thing to be a victim of the violent crime, but it is another to be continuously revictimized 24/7. Only the Internet now gives us the tools to do this to a victim of a violent crime, and this now puts a huge ethical question on public vrs private values on the chopping block.
EDITED, Sept 20, 2010:
I was part of a really good discussion yesterday with a couple of old buddies from the University. We talked about the sixteen year-old woman from Pitt Meadows, BC who was gang-rape, and asked why some of those images of the criminal act were posted on face-book by one of the perpetrators who participated in the rape. During the discussion, we came to the conclusion that the media must take some of the responsibility for the sudden viral distribution of the images as we concluded that “if it were not for the 64 news bites by CBC Radio on September 17, 2010, alone, the further victimization of the young girl would have been minimal.” One of the members of the group discussion, a forensic computer scientist, stated that “following up on Google’s Search Engine patterns,” he said, “there was a significant increase in Intranet traffic of people searching for those images.”
And just to reiterate: it is a criminal offence in Canada to download, possess and redistribute, any images of people under the ages of eighteen that is in a sexual manner. This is called child pornography.
Another member from the group, a Sociologist, concluded that the media should be held countable for their part in the further victimization of the young woman, and he cited CTV and the CBC, and their affiliated radio stations as some of the most damaging for content. “The spectrum of the quality of the news that ran on this story was varied.” He pointed out that this was purely based on sensationalism, as the RCMP gave out little information, and the inferences made by the media were “troublesome,” in his opinion. He recommended that the parents of the victim may want to consider launching lawsuits for damages as the conduct of the various media outlets crossed ethical lines. Of course, that is up to the parents, as further legal fights just add to the further victimization of the you girl.
Freedom of the Internet also means “being controlled” at the same time. Consider the lack of power that law enforcement agencies have with regards to the Intranet. Once those images were posted, they are there for life, and then continue to spread like a virus. Once the network has taken those images after they have being uploaded, the RCMP cannot guarantee that they can expunged them from the public view. As we have seen in the past, even countries with totalitarian governments cannot control the Intranet. It is up to the public, those who add to the organic organism we call the “Net,” to exercise self control. Self policing is truly the only way we have of stopping the victimisation of this person.
ADDED Sept 20, 2010: Sadly this post has gotten some extremely negative feedback from one reader who obviously did not take the time to thoroughly read it. If you are wondering why I did not post your comments, it is becuase you need to present a better, more thoughtful constructed argument, rather than the seven words of profanities you gave me today. I encourage you to take the time and try again, and maybe people will listen to your ideas. I have underlined the area from which you failed to understand that answers your query from your first comment.