How A Series Of Viral Sex Videos Cost A Woman Her Life

We need to be careful with what we say and do online.

Tiziana Cantone Image Facebook

We live in an era in which there is a thin line separating our real life and our virtual life, and sometimes that line gets crossed for all the wrong reasons. In the case of Tiziana Cantone, that line cost her her life.

Tiziana was an attractive woman in her early thirties who had grown up in Mugnano di Napoli, just outside of Naples in Italy. A vulnerable and fragile woman, Tiziana’s life began to change in April 2015, when she sent a series of sex videos to five people, including her boyfriend Sergio, on Whatsapp.

Tiziana was 33 years old when she died Image Facebook

The videos showed Tiziana having sex with other men, and while the quality of the videos is not the best, a moment in which she utters the line “You’re making a video? Bravo!” marked a turning point for Tiziana.

The videos ended up on porn sites, and Tiziana’s line became a meme. Her online “fame” meant that she got recognised in the streets, meaning her real life offline was forever changed.

Tiziana went to court, and even though she eventually managed to get the videos removed in September 2016, she still was forced to pay €20,000 (£17,200) for the legal expenses.

So now not only Tiziana was marked socially, she was also badly hit financially, and the stress took its toll. She hid in her mother’s house, no longer able to deal with the outside world. For her mother, Maria Teresa, her daughter had been shamed, and she didn’t rule out that perhaps Tiziana had been drugged before those videos were made.

Tiziana couldn’t see a way out, and one day last September, while her mother was at work, Tiziana took her own life.

Unfortunately, Tiziana’s is not the only case in which people see their lives ruined by what is a clear breach of their privacy. We need to understand that we now live in a world in which what we do online has implications in our real life, and in the lives of others. Ruining a person’s life on a website is not just a joke: it can ruin them forever. And it’s up to us to realise this and stop it, so that a tragedy like Tiziana’s won’t ever happen again.

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