the continued and unabated leakage of sex tapes, their unrestricted access by both the old and morally virgin, will sooner than later lead us to a society where one is exposed, and is free to expose others as they wilt. This is what I sturdily term as “internet anarchy”.
Sex tapes have become an apparently amazing venture, for both the morally depraved and the inquisitive. On the other hand they have become so excruciating, a prick in the skin, to the main participants or victims. The issue of sex tapes comes hand in hand with the problem, or better, the utopia of the new age of technology. These become an issue where the main participants are, or at least one of them is recorded unknowingly, or they are undesirably exposed on internet. They also become an issue where all and sundry can access them.
I was graced with a chance to participate in the Price Media Law Moot in 2014 at the regional rounds, hosted by the University of Nairobi, Kenya. One of the main issues that we had to deal with was how to balance rights. This is because rights are inevitably bound to come into conflict.
In this case we particularly had to balance the freedom of expression through, for example, social media, on one hand, and the right to privacy on the other. We came across a very interesting case in the course of our research. This case concerned a one Max Mosley, a man of high stature in society, a role model, a father, and the former President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) which is the governing body for world motor sport.
On this particular occasion, Mosley chose to have fun with a few ladies, or call them prostitutes. Unknown to him, one of these was video-taping him. Given the social stature of Mosley, this recording was bound to be a very hot view for those who were inquisitive, morally depraved, those who desired to distribute, and his “witch hunters” for the next months.
Mr. Max Mosley rushed to the UK courts to have the newspapers remove this from their daily publications, and to have the relevant parties punished. The matter even proceeded to the European Court of Human Rights. Mosley then immediately rushed to France to have these images removed from YouTube, court did allow this removal. This is what one could arguably call the right to be forgotten.
Mosley’s biggest contention was that recording him was a violation of his privacy. The newspapers and the different publishers stand point was, “we have the freedom of expression”. Amidst there lies the problem, how does one balance the right to privacy and the freedom of expression which takes the form of using social media. Nonetheless the court affirmed that by recording Mosley, this was a violation of his Right to privacy. Whereas it may sound uncouth to defend a man sleeping with prostitutes, the point should not be missed. He still enjoys his privacy.
This is not peculiar to Mosley, it has happened in Uganda. We have nudes of musician Desire “Ekitone” Luzinda, there was one of Zari Hussein the socialite among others. In Zimbabwe there was a sex tape that leaked featuring university students around April 2014 and the same happened in Kenya, and the list goes on.
What may not be easily understood is the pain that these victims go through, their families, friends and comrades. Such is only immeasurable and can only be imagined, but never really felt. Can Desire Luzinda’s daughter easily fit it with her fellow students at school, bearing in mind how cheeky pupils can be at school?
The UN recently declared it a right to access internet. Bearing in mind the effects of social media and the media at large as both good, desirable and heavenly on one hand, the same can as well be as evil, wicked and malevolent on the other.
It is thus high time that we started thinking and putting in place some stringent , but not unreasonable, measures of limiting this freedom as expressed through internet and social media. Otherwise the continued and unabated leakage of sex tapes, their unrestricted access by both the old and morally virgin, will soon or later lead us to a society where one is exposed, and is free to expose others as they wilt. This is what I sturdily term as “internet anarchy”.