by: Carlos Ncube
“If Children are the kings and queens of tomorrow, where is the kingdom they will inherit?”
These are just a few observations I have made while following the #Sesethu and #Natasha that surfaced late in the day on 23 March 2017. To some this may be trivial, but the behavior of people online is representation of society offline. the strength of social media is in the fact that people can talk shit without ever showing their faces.
There is no doubt that Sesethu should be held accountable for taking the video. The issue around whether she was forced or shot it t her own will are still sketchy. However, the basis of criticism towards her has been uncalled for to say the least. No screen-grabs and embedded tweets will be in this piece because we are familiar with the negative comments as well as the support coming from both twitter and Facebook.
1. People who shun her have a fetish for fake news
There are currently 44 facebook fan pages and 5 Personal Pages with the name Sesethu Zikhona Cayla Sesh. The first page that was created yesterday has over 36 800 likes. this is the ccount in which statement was issued by Somebody pretending to be Sesethu in which she said “there is no use to be ashamed t some point I have to face the world…” The status updates on the page were used by some to justify calling her isfebe.
The page did however dispute that is was Sesethu in the voice note that was circulating. The voice note was held as a holy grail of truth confirming that Sesethu didn’t care bout the leak of the video. Even upon hearing that the pages and other media branded Sesethu are fake people are still inclined to quote them as reliable sources.
So, in as much as we do not want fake news there re people who, even when they know better, prefer to spread the lies. especially those wjo choose to criticise the people who have been on the receiving end of the embarrassment. the criticism of Sesethu fuels the victim blaming phenomenon. Having an opinion is not wrong. but having an opinion that is condescending or degrading to the next person adds no value to the conversation.
2. People care about the video more than the Well-being of Sesethu
Child porn is illegal we know. But there has been a gross obsession with people wanting to see the video. People were posting their numbers on posts regarding the video hoping people would send it on WhatsApp. I am inclined to believe that some were generally curious(which doesn’t make things better) There is also the danger of pedophiles who live on the internet for child pornography.
I came to the conclusion that people care more about the video when I was looking at the Search terms that landed people on my blog. the search terms included: Sesethu leaked Video, Sesethu video leak and Sesethu masturbting video. So it seems like seeing the video far outweighed legalities of seeing Child Porn.
3. There are many people on her side.
The people who re defending Sesethu were and are still doing so with caution. they are acknowledging that by taking the video, she had exposed her self to danger therefore she is accountable, but she is not liable for the damage that has been caused to her reputation. the video plays a role but it is of little significance especially where her mental health is concerned.
The Selfie Cop, an app dedicated to preventing cyber bullying states in a document from its website “cyber bullying follows sexting” and that sexts are usually shared with third parties this is how nudes and videos like Sesethu’s Leak. There are multiple cases you can read online to see that there is n inextricable link between cyber bullying and teen suicide, in this case tied together by sexting.
So those that are concerned look at her well-being as a primary factor, and as a child people should be protective of her. it doesn’t help to shun her for her action and do nothing that will dd value to build the society in preventing other girls who could be in Sesethu’s Shoes from being faced with similar situations
Where do we go from here
It doesn’t help to call for the arrest people who have shared and watched the video especilly considering how vast the internet is as well as the spread of technology. I think community service for is a fit punishment, with a sentence long enough to make the people realise what they have been doing is unacceptable.
we need to lern to protect our children. both at home and at school. the ratio of protection from ech institution is irrelevant as long as we know that children are safe from the internet and their peers.