How Not to Celebrate an AFL Premiership

 
 Image: Getty

Image: Getty

This won’t be news to anyone (who lives in Australia), but on September 30th, the Richmond Tigers won the 2017 AFL Grand Final. If you’re a Richmond fan, congrats! It’s their first flag since 1980, and it’s kind of a big deal.

But in the excitement things got a little out of hand. Apparently a Richmond player (we don’t know who yet) took a topless photo of a woman wearing a 2017 premiership medal, and then shared it without her consent (she didn’t say he could). The woman told the Herald Sun she had agreed to the photo being taken but then asked for it to be deleted. The player said he did delete it, but then it ended up all over social media, and now the woman is really upset. Not cool. The police are investigating. (Source)

"...this seriously sucks for everyone involved."

This is a crime which is often called ‘Revenge Porn’, and it’s pretty serious. It’s when someone shares an ‘intimate image’ (a nude) on purpose without that person’s consent. If you’re guilty you can sent to jail for up to two years in Victoria, even if you’re a famous footballer.

Assuming the woman is telling the truth, this seriously sucks for everyone involved.

Most of all, this sucks for the woman. She was totally disrespected and betrayed in a really damaging way. This could affect her social life, her career, and her mental health. The player can be seriously punished, but that won’t change what’s happened. Maybe he shared the image hoping for a bit of a laugh, but now she has to live forever with the consequences. That’s unfair and it’s not her fault. ‘Revenge Porn’ is never okay and there’s no excuse for it.

"Technology has made it really easy to really hurt people, and this situation is a good reminder of that."

Let’s be crystal clear: the player did the wrong thing and this is completely his fault. But at What’s Normal? we reckon that people don’t usually mean to hurt each other, so we’re also going to talk about how this sucks for the player. He’ll have to live the rest of his life knowing the pain he’s caused. He was stupid, disrespectful, and deserves to be punished, but it’s hard to imagine that he wanted this to happen. Technology has made it really easy to really hurt people, and this situation is a good reminder of that.

Get this though: This kind of thing happens all the time. One study showed that 17% of teenagers who received sexts shared them with others, and 55% of those shared them with more than one person.¹ It’s really common for porn sites to then steal these images. These are called ‘Parasite Porn’ sites, and they’re huge. Thousands of photos, shared or taken in trust, ending up on the internet forever. That sucks.

So what’s the big takeaway here? Technology is really, really powerful and we have to be smart if we want to use it safely. Sharing a nude with some mates might not feel like that big of a deal at the time, but it can change lives forever.  That’s the world we live in.

"At What’s Normal? we believe young people can make really good, thoughtful decisions, sometimes we just need the space to think things through."

This is why we’re passionate about giving young people the space to think about the power of technology. At What’s Normal? we believe young people can make really good, thoughtful decisions, sometimes we just need the space to think things through.

But what do you think? Let’s keep the conversations going in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

¹ The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. "Teenage Sexting Statistics."

 
Tim GordonComment