Revenge Porn in the Philippines – The Dark Side of Filipino Social Media

My life pretty much revolves around social media. Probably, yours as well. Chances are, our common denominator is the fact that we both have a Facebook account. You could also be one of the ten million Filipinos on Twitter, and one of another ten million on Google+. My point is, we are separated from each other no longer by physical barriers but whether or not we’re Friends, Following each other, or are in each other’s circles.

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Unfortunately for many individuals, many of them women, complete strangers know just a little too much about them from a not-unheard-of phenomena that through social media has become the deadly new tool of angry and resentful individuals. It’s called ‘revenge porn‘ and this article sheds some light on how it starts, how you can protect yourself, and the steps you can take should you (or a friend/relative) become a victim.

Protecting Yourself from Revenge Porn in the Philippines

 

The Digital “Tarring and Feathering”

The Middle Ages (and several centuries after that) saw a method of publicly humiliating individuals. It involved pouring hot tar on a person and covering him/her with feathers, then paraded in public. Revenge porn in the Philippines works more or less the same way; in a predominantly religion-influenced country, to have one’s most private (and intimate) moments shared with and to the world probably ranks very high on the embarrassment scale

As far as my rudimentary research on revenge porn in the Philippines goes, it begins in an almost predictable formula: Victim (most often a girl) sends private and intimate pictures to lover; they break up; angry and resentful lover posts the photos on Internet sites; pictures travel far and wide via social media; victim is emotionally traumatized and the shame lasts for a significant period of time.

What is terrible is that the Internet sites hosting these pictures and/or videos aren’t legally required to 1) reveal who sent the materials, and 2) take down the images/video clips upon the request of the victim. The best move, therefore, is to help prevent revenge porn from happening to you in the first place, whether you’re a college student or a working professional.

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