I've thought a lot about the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi (the college kid that killed himself after a sex tape of him was posted online). One of the memes surrounding the story when it first broke was whether or not this was some sort of "prank" gone wrong. Let me quickly answer that for anyone without two brain cells to form cognizant thoughts. No. Neither was the recent nonsense with James O'Keefe. A prank is frequently defined as a practical joke, there was no joke in either case. Do I think the kids meant for Mr. Clementi to kill himself, probably not, but was posting someones private sexual exploits online a "prank"? No.
That leads me to the individuals that filmed and broadcast Mr. Clementi, this post from Kate Harding is fantastic. I too have heard the thread that these were basically "good kids" who just were having fun. Bullshit. Ms. Harding says it better than I...
"Let me fully spell out what I mentioned last week, which is this: I don’t need to know if Ravi and Wei can be held legally responsible for Tyler Clementi’s death in order to feel perfectly confident saying that they are fucking assholes. I don’t need to know if their motivations were specifically homophobic to feel confident saying they are fucking assholes. I don’t need to ever meet them or speak with them to feel confident saying they are fucking assholes. Because I know they both participated in the filming of two people engaging in sexual activity without those people’s consent, and then invited other people to watch it. And if you do that, YOU ARE A FUCKING ASSHOLE. Always and forever."
Go read the whole thing! Thanks to my friend KHR for sharing this.