I am a firm believer in the First Amendment. I believe in exercising it to its fullest capacity at all times. I believe I should be able to say whatever I want, whenever I want, to whomever I want, however I want. I believe that no man should impugn on these rights given to me as a citizen of the United States of America.
However, I do believe that there is a line that should never be crossed.
Facebook rants. Twitter rants. Blog bitch fests. I’m guilty of it all. I’ve written things on the internet that would skin a cat. I’ve sat and deliberated for hours the perfect words to use to describe someone in the lowest possible way. I take malicious delight when I slice someone with my words.
I don’t invade people’s privacy.
I just finished reading about the young man at Rutgers University, Tyler Clementi. He committed suicide after two classmates allegedly videotaped him having sex and then put the video up on the internet for other classmates to witness. Apparently Clementi asked his roommate if he could have their dorm room to himself for the evening. The roommate, Ravi, took it into his head to hide a webcam in the room and video tape Clementi with his male friend.
Ravi tweeted, “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
From what I can understand the sexual encounter between Clementi and his friend was broadcast live. Later, it is alleged that Ravi tried to broadcast again. He is supposed to have tweeted, “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again.”
After this occurred, Clementi jumped off a bridge and killed himself.
The two students have been arrested on invasion of privacy charges. The district attorney in New Jersey said there could be additional charges pending if it’s determined that they targeted Clementi because he was gay. Apparently there were additional comments made about his sexual orientation. It’s bad enough they tormented him in this fashion, but because he’s gay? That’s even more pathetic. It’s the lowest of low.
Friends of the two say they are kind of shocked that they would do such a thing. Others excuse the behaviour because they just turned 18 and they are in their first year at college and sometimes kids do dumb things.
There are dumb things and there are dumb things. Videotaping someone while he’s having sex and then putting it on the internet isn’t dumb, it’s criminal. Why would you do something like that? That’s something that could scar someone for life.
My friend asked me if it was that serious that he should kill himself over this. I told her that you have no idea what is going on in someone’s mind. You don’t always know how sensitive they are. You never know their background. You never know where they are coming from. But think of it this way, once you put something on the internet, it is there forever. Every time you do a google search, here comes your made for Youtube porn video. These days everyone has Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, whatever. Employers do social media searches on you to see what kind of person you are. Everybody does a search on you to find out what they can. Imagine, this guy, in the privacy of his own home was having an intimate moment and someone else violated that privacy.
How does he explain.
Employer: Oh, I see you have a sex tape. What’s that about?
Person: My roommate videotaped that, kind of as a joke.
Employer: I see. Well, don’t call us, we’ll call you.
He’s not a celebrity like Kim Kardashian or Pamela Anderson with a lot of money to laugh this off. Those two kids took away more than just his privacy. They humiliated him and took away his dignity. They humiliated him and took away his life.
The two kids have no yet said anything to the media in their defense. I’m sure they’ve spoken to the police but their statements have not been made public. I’m interested to hear what these morons have to say about it. Even me in my most vindictive hour would not dream of something like this. Invasion of privacy charges carries a term of five years in New Jersey, but somehow jail is not enough. No, they shouldn’t get the death penalty, but they really need to understand what they did to this kid. They killed him. They caused despair and heartache in his friends and family members.
They killed him.