Steve Harwood

Labour Activist, #Sharkstoppers Campaigner and Blogger

Labour Activist, #Sharkstoppers Campaigner and Blogger. All views are my own (well, some were originally my mother's...) 

An Open Letter to The Daily Mirror

Dear Daily Mirror

 

I was just browsing your website, and the headline ‘Man bursts in on 'cheating wife as she romps naked on sofa' - and promises not to share video’ cropped up in the sidebar. Surely not, I thought. Not about the story itself – a scorned lover maliciously sharing sexuality explicitly videos of an ex, without their consent, is depressingly plausible. There’s even a word for it. But surely, a national newspaper, one I quite like, wouldn’t delight in and even share revenge porn?

I had a bit of a moral dilemma as to whether to click the link or not – if it was as I feared, I didn’t want to see it, but I certainly wanted to object. But how can you object to something if you refuse to check that something even happened? Eventually, it was faith in the Daily Mirror that lead me to open the link. Obviously I wasn’t going to see what revenge porn being celebrated. I was simply clicking for peace of mind.

However, it was basically as bad as I feared it would be. The video was embedded in the story, and although the faces had been blurred, the voices were unaltered – if I knew any of the people involved I would recognise them from this clip. Moreover, the logo for the website that originally hosted the ‘leaked’ video was emblazoned over it. Yes, same dilemma, yes, same necessity to check I was right to complain – yes, if you visit that site you find the original video, faces unblurred, right there on the front page. No, I didn’t click that video. I’m sure, by this stage, I have grounds to complain.

You have cheerfully, gleefully, reported on a sex tape being shared against this woman’s consent, as though it was a joke. The story that goes with it focusses entirely on the fact that she cheated on her husband, even commending his calm response, as though – the defence of revenge porn perverts everywhere – she ‘deserved it’. It gives clear instructions on how to find the uncensored footage instantly.

I personally don’t think this is acceptable behaviour from a national news site, especially one that positions itself as a progressive alternative to our right wing press. Moreover, if the action is not a criminal publishing of revenge pornography, it is certainly a moral lapse from a publication that has previously decried the awful sites you now appear to be advertising.

I hope you will see fit to respond to this complaint,

 

Steve Doran

Daily Mirror reader for 29 year

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