TWITTER DOESN’T CARE ABOUT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
At 1:45 AM this morning, my Twitter TL started going crazy surrounding an unfamiliar #TT (Twitter Topic). Curiosity got the best of me, so I scanned the name only to discover adults across the Nation were excited to RT, slander, and judge video footage of “AmberCole,” a 14-year old Black girl videotaped giving fellatio to a Black boy behind a school building. Yes. Run that back. A CHILD SEX ACT WAS THE TOPIC DUJOUR and Twitter was allowing it to Trend. There are few words…
My soul aches for so many reasons, the initial being that at only 14, it is beyond clear this young girl knows not the implications of permanent association with a sexual act. Also, she does not know her worth, for if so, she’d never become subject of young men’s sexual perversions, during school hours, on film. At 14, personal development falls heavily on home/parental influences as well as adults charged with educating her. Where was her parental/guardian influence?? Where were school administrators to monitor activity on school grounds? Once the video was tweeted the first time, and adults began the Re-Tweets and disgusting jokes, where was the moral responsiblity of community? You know, that BASIC moral compass that screams, “Don’t be a judgemental pervert, this is a CHILD?!?! Maybe I should delete this memory and report this criminal offense!” I was completely let down by the response of adults in the online and physical communities that thought any parts of this action was “cute.”
Additionally, I blame Twitter. The billionaires behind the social network are fully aware of what topics are allowed to trend, and when this video surfaced, could have easily blocked the senders and reported them to the law (Child pornography is a criminal offense). However, within one hour it became a national trending topic. *Fingers To Temple* When Troy Davis was executed, we (Black/concerned Twittah) tweeted for 48 hours in protest and were never credited as a #1 Twitter Topic. Twitter later sent a surface letter of apology claiming no racial bias/there was no foul play. *side eye* At 2:56 AM (10.17.11) Twitter removed “AmberCole” as the #1 Trending Topic, but the damage is done. In Twitter’s selective methodology, monitoring what draws attention is paramount, even at the expense of a young Black girl. Know this, if a 14-year old white girl was videotaped doing the exact same act, and Twitter allowed it to “Trend,” it would surely become content of a 20/20 Diane Sawyer special. Which is further frustrating… yet another example of how little value is placed on the lives of Black youth.
Without question, damaging media images (like VH1’s Basketball Wives), the general promotion of ignominious sexuality effect our young people. The influence can be seen daily in many choices made, frequent emulation of their favorite “stars,” and popular desire to become famous without hard work or acquired skill set. I challenge it is the apathy of adults who know better but refuse to promote doing better that allows this influence to permeate our communities. It’s officially out of hand when alternate Twitter handles and songs are instantly made about blatant child pornography instead of petitions or collective outrage. Judgement and punch lines as opposed to corrective behavior and the demand for proper treatment. We’re doing it to ourselves. It’s all fun and “jokes” until the young girls/boys in the next video are someone you know.
I remain committed to taking a stand against the promotion of illegal actions such as this, especially the (obvious) disregard for young Black girls. Shame on Twitter, any adults who aided in making it a “Trending Topic”, and those who did nothing at all, just quietly observed on their TL. Everyone has moral accountability, and if you don’t take a stand, you’ll surely fall for anything…including apathy towards kiddie porn. But it’s “just Twitter” right? Here’s hoping one day soon we WAKE UP, take action, and take back our communities.