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Brazil: Online Sexting, Social Media and Parental Responsibility

At around midnight on the night of July 24th, a 16-year-old teenager and his 14-year-old girlfriend began to practice the new fashion of “Sexting” on Twitcam – Twitter's live TV. For a few minutes, more than 25,000 microblog users were able to watch the girl being molested in a consensual way. Conceição Oliveira, writing for the Vi o Mundo blog [pt], has some more information:

Cerca de 25 mil espectadores (adultos e adolescentes) assistiram, ao vivo e a cores, uma adolescente que posteriormente disse ter 14 anos sentada no colo do amigo,  consentindo ser bolinada. Durante a transmissão na madrugada o vídeo foi gravado, algumas imagens dos momentos mais picantes foram ‘printadas’ (copiadas como arquivo de foto direto da tela do computador) e inundaram a rede quase que simultaneamente à transmissão.No twitter, o adolescente mantinha o perfil ‘@damzinho’, associado a outros perfis como o formspring (conta de perguntas e respostas, também ligada ao twitter); o Orkut, o Youtube etc.

About 25,000 spectators (adults and teenagers) watched, live and in color, a teenager who later claimed to be 14 years old sitting on the lap of her friend, consenting to be molested. During the night broadcast the video was recorded, some pictures of the hottest moments were ‘printed’ (copied as photo files straight from the computer screen) and flooded the net almost simultaneously with the transmission. On Twitter, the teenager had the profile ‘@damzinho', also associated with other profiles such as FormSpring (questions and answers account, also connected to twitter), Orkut, Youtube etc.

Twitter account @damzinho, which was deleted at dawn. Google

The boy had promised to take the girl's virginity when his twitcam reached 20,000 people watching. Despite public demands, they did not have sex in front of the camera during the 2-hour exhibition, but both the video and the viral response were enough to shock the country. Many Twitter users and bloggers began to wonder about rumors: whether the pair was underage, if it was a paedophilia case and even if the two were siblings. The Despojos was among the first blogs to react against [pt] the sexting video, which according to him is set to be the biggest controversy of the day or even the month:

Mais do que a simples exposição de menores, que já é um fato preocupante, há quem diga, inclusive, que a menina que protagonizou a cena com “damzinho” era sua irmã e estava bêbada – o que, convenhamos, não o isenta de nada, só piora a situação.

More than the simple exposure of minors, which is already a worrying thing, some even claim the girl staging with “damzinho” was his sister and that she was drunk – which, far from exempting him from anything, only worsens the situation.

PrintScreen of the couple

Conceição Oliveira explains [pt] the aftermath of the controversy:

De todo modo, hoje, enquanto o Zero Hora anunciava que a polícia ia investigar o adolescente, ele criou outra conta no twitter com acréscimo de uma letra e abriu novamente sua twitcam. Acompanhado da mesma menina exposta e que se expôs na madrugada, tomava um ‘toddy’ enquanto se explicava e se vangloriava do ocorrido. A garota respondia algumas perguntas da legião dos adolescentes que correram para a twitcam da nova conta do adolescente, transformado em ‘mito’ da noite para o dia. Na rede é assim, num clique se apaga uma conta e num outro se cria uma nova.

Na conversa da tarde de segunda-feira a garota disse que tem 14 anos, que perdeu a ‘virgindade’ aos 13 e que não foi com o adolescente que a bolinou em frente à câmera na madrugada. Questionada se tinha orgulho do que fez, respondeu que não, mas que tinha perdido no jogo e tinha de pagar.  Na madrugada, ambos jogaram Uno e quem perdesse teria de se submeter ao outro na twitcam. Uma questão em aberto: como uma adolescente de 14 anos está de madrugada no quarto de um amigo adolescente de 16 anos?

Anyway, today, while the Zero Hora [pt] newspaper announced that the police would investigate the teenager, he created another Twitter account with an increase of one letter and opened his twitcam again. Together with the same girl exposed in the late-night broadcast, he drank a  chocolate milk while boasting and explaining what happened. The girl answered some of the questions from the legions of teenagers who flocked to the new twitcam account of the teenager, who had become a ‘legend’ overnight. That's how it works on the Internet, you delete an account with one click, and with another you create a new one.
On Monday afternoon's chat, the girl said she was 14 years old, that she had lost her ‘virginity’ at 13 and that it was not with the teenager who had molested her in front of the camera that night. Asked if she was proud of what she did, she replied ‘no', but said she had lost a bet and had to pay. At dawn, both had played [card game] Uno and whoever lost would have to submit to the other in font of the twitcam. An open question: how is a 14-year-old teenager in a 16-year-old teenage friend's room in the middle of the night?

Afterwards, the boy posted a video on YouTube [pt] explaining what really happened, while the girl's mother, taken by surprise, grounded her [pt] for a month without Internet access, and the Brazilian police are investigating the case. After all, it seems that a case of online sexting shows how Brazilian teenagers behave while not within reach of their parents. Carol Giarrante wonders [pt] what is at stake:

Tudo o que grande parte dos adolescentes quer hoje é se tornar celebridade e não importa o preço que paguem por isso. Também não importa se é por 15 minutos, uma madrugada, um dia ou um mês. E as redes sociais, claro, são as ferramentas perfeitas para que atinjam este objetivo.

All that most teens want today is to become celebrities, no matter what price they pay for it. Nor does it matter if it's for 15 minutes, a night, a day or a month. And social networks, of course, are the perfect tools for reaching this goal.

15-year-old Andressa Mendes, from the Genéricos e Sintéticos [pt] blog, wonders whether it's really normal for teenagers like herself to do everything for fame:

E agora será que vale a pena mesmo ficar no twitcam para desconhecidos, monstrando-se, por apenas mais seguidores ? Será que isso é normal, ou eu que estou velha demais ? Acredito que não…acredito que essa juventude precise mudar…

And now is it really worth being on twitcam for strangers, showing up only to get more followers? Is this normal, or am I too old? I don't think it is… I believe that this youth needs to change…

Paulo Henrique, from Wherever blog has something to say [pt] about this:

O mais triste dessa história toda, é saber que atos como este são cometidos de forma impensada. Ora, sejamos francos, vivemos em um mundo onde qualquer informação esta a poucos cliques de distância. Hoje com o nome completo daquele(a) sua paquera no MSN você descobre informações como: Faculdade, Curso, Localidade, Passatempos, Orientação Política, Nome de Familiares… e assim vai. Então como uma pessoa, consegue me fazer isso! É sinceramente ser muito burro para não pensar dois passos a frente na sua vida.

The saddest part of the story is that acts like these are committed so thoughtlessly. Now, let's face it, we live in a world where all information is available in a few clicks. Today with the full name of that IM crush of yours you find information such as: college, course, location, hobbies, political orientation, relative's names… and so on. So how can a person do this [sexting]! Honestly, they must be very stupid not to think two steps ahead in their lives.

Both teenagers are liable to face [pt] social and educational measures. The Police commissioner in charge is also investigating the three to ten [pt] thousand people who may have downloaded and shared the video through 4shared for possible distribution and consumption of child pornography. The latest news is that the girl is afraid of going to school [pt] [pt] and the boy is depressed. Both deeply regret the whole episode and claim not to have realized the consequences of their online foul play.

This post was proofread by Kitty Garden.
  • mahesh

    i am a sri lankan.i love so much brasilen girls because they have sexy look & good skin colour.i also love brasil foot ball team & wish to nest foot ball world cup winning you’re in your country.

    • Lalith

      Dear Mahesh, I agree with U! But, how about Sri Lankan girls? Viva Brazil!! Lalith, S L.

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