It’s amazing how the supporters of social media always stress on the fact that the human beings indeed are social animals and they are in a need of social platform in order to quench their thrust for social intimacy in the modern fast paced world. Well, it turns out they are right to some extent but the increased social media networking nowadays has led to increased sexual intimacy between two individuals which can have dire consequences.
Intimacy is not a bad thing, in fact, numerous studies stress the utmost importance of intimacy in the daily functioning of a normal human being. But things might get out of hand in two conditions. One, if the plans made amongst two people are not full filled and result in them breaking up. Second, if social media connection is being utilized by a person with sinister purposes then he might even dig out information for extortion purposes later on.
In a recent study by Janis Wolak from University of New Hampshire, concerns have been raised about the use of social media in sex-related abuse, consequently tagging it with the term ‘sextortion.’ According to the authors, in precise terms, sextortion can be described as the threat of publishing sexual images of a person – on social media – in order to ask that person to meet irrational demands –even sex – which is not always consensual.
In their study, they used prominent social media platforms in order to recruit candidates for their study. A total of more than 2000 people responded to an elaborate survey which led the researchers to know the condition of respondents and the chain of events that led them there.
Almost all the victims reported the lack of help from the companies that owned those social platforms. Victims were also reluctant to contact police in this regard as the state laws make them a criminal themselves if child pornography is involved and they did distribute the material to the perpetrators consensually in the first place.
There is a dire need of taking some actions on the behalf of the technology companies as well as the police units to devise a policy in order to handle sextortion and to take the victim into confidence so that their problem can be solved and they can be saved from the surmounting amount of guilt and stress that comes along this heinous crime.