Sex, Text, Revenge etc. – ‘spot the double standard’
OK - spot the double standard.
In your recent news item 'Sex, Text, Revenge, Hacking and Friends Reunited', you report sympathetically on the case of student Philip Norse humiliating his ex-girlfriend on the internet.
Now, let's go back a few months to the infamous Brian Tindle saga (story Brian Tindle: Internet villain and the new Claire Swire. Now, *assuming* Brian was a real person (or perhaps based loosely on a real person), you report humorously on the world-wide crucification of Brian, calling it 'fine theatre'. You also provide a link to the thread, and write...
"But what the hell, this is entertaining stuff. And with a good percentage of the population hinged on the inane mutterings of young, under-educated nobodies on Big Brother, what better than something with a touch more spice and the added incentive of realism?"
What the hell indeed. You should really compare the two stories.
The moral seems to be it's OK to utterly humiliate a guy on the internet (and we all put the boot in - haha, what fun), but not a girl.
Neither, of course, should have happened, and highlights the ability to misuse the internet to ruin peoples lives (and in the case of Brian Tindle, sell t-shirts about it afterwards.
We were confused by the t-shirt reference: perhaps you were thinking of Trevor Luxton, of sex-boast email fame and worst boyfriend in the world, or what. Our assumption is that the Brian Tindle story is fictional.
Regarding your piece entitled "Sex, Text, Revenge, Hacking and Friends Reunited". The court case fails to score a perfect 10, since you dock a point because "The humiliation suffered by the victim moves it beyond simple entertainment.". Setting aside for a moment the humiliation which was presumably felt by her convicted ex on discovering he was being cheated on, I don't recall such gentlemanly concern being shown by the Reg crew in the cases of Claire "yum" Swires or "Clever" Trevor. True, the men involved in those cases were the architects of their own downfall through their need to brag.
However, in the case of "the young lady" in this story I believe the adage holds: if she hadn't have been doing something she shouldn't have been doing (in this case two-timing her boyfriend), none of this would have happened. Of course that's not to condone the illegal actions of her ex (the incarcerated one) and his accomplices, but I don't think she deserves much sympathy for her humiliation. Conversely, you couldn't apply that adage to the hapless Miss Swires, whose 'taste' in men was never-the-less globally revealed, presumably to her acute humiliation at least as great as that of "the young lady".
PS - I don't suppose there's any chance of a "Sex, Text, Revenge, Hacking and Friends Reunited" Reg T-shirt being made available in Cash'n'Carrion?
Great T-shirt idea (but don't tell Stephen Gates!) We do not see the moral equivalence. Bradley Chait, Claire Swire's nemesis was a fool and a knave. Philip Nourse actively sought to destroy the reputation of "the young lady". Secondly, the "humiliation" suffered by Nourse was strictly private (OK, maybe it was shared with his two chums at O2), in contrast with the vengeance he wreaked.
Just read your article on the O2 texting issue and it was funny, damned funny all round. Although I was interested in your sympathy for the young "lady" in this instance. Only 9 out of 10? Hmmmm perhaps there is a bit of ignorance of the necessity for quid pro quo on this count. You really think that the young lad in this case wasn't humiliated? Hmmm. A bit unfair don't you think?
Condone the O2 behaviour? No not really. Condone the hacking? Well it's better than hacking off body parts or pulling out guns and shooting people isn't it? The best part about this is that he's only showing the world what happened between them. I know he got five months for breaking into computer systems but hell, it's better than the girl winding up dead or the guy, or both.
Perhaps before complaining about how much the upset youth has hurt her and her family she might want to examine the karmic wheel a bit and perhaps not have s3x with other men when she's in a monogamous relationship. Anyways, rant mode off, pretty funny I think. Good story. :)
"Necessity for quid pro quo?" Surely that would mean Nourse sleeping with a former girlfriend?
You forgot to point out how amazing it is that a Sports Science student was able to hack into her Friends Reunited account!
The Evening Standard last night said that he got into Friends Reunited by using his girlfriend's username and password. Is that classed as hacking now?
It also said he pleaded guilty to all of this. What he did, while morally wrong, could probably be regarded as a minor offence, and certainly not a prison term. This is in stark contrast to his friends at O2 who are very clearly criminals.
Richard Birkby ®
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