Consent These Days, Has Become A Facade That Anyone Can Breach

Why we need to raise concerns about it — as it connects to us all.

Photo by Philipp Wüthrich on Unsplash

The other day, I posted a selfie with a dear friend of mine in my private Instagram account. Everything was going well, but I found an acquaintance of mine screenshotting that photo and trying to cause a ruckus in a public group of my class. I had always considered something like this would happen — as you can never be too sure but the following events surprised me to my core.

I keep a small circle of people on my private Instagram account, those that I have known long for years even decades — perhaps I wasn’t aware of the actions of a few. This can happen to anyone, and the crux of the matter is that it happened.

Nowadays, people might screenshot an entire conversation, add a sappy story that bakes emotions, and then get their point across. Something like this has happened in my case where I was the victim in the photo. I immediately contact that person and asked very nicely with a moderate tone to take down the image as well as taking a step back to court him on the rules of consent and why it’s bad to use people’s private images to stir propaganda for fun.

After a timed argument, he apologized and I haven’t seen him do anything else so far. Perhaps he learned his lesson and moved on. A few months back, another circumstance had happened where someone had stolen an image and edited it from my Facebook page and had shown it as his own. This hasn’t happened to me just this once — people steal shamelessly and ludicrously apply their watermark to it as well.

I used to be a semi-pro nature, and landscape photographer — I did that as a hobby, much like I do writing poetry these days. I have a sharp eye when someone uses something of my own without my consent. It usually never escapes my eye, as I keep a quick lookout for such and such — you can never be too careful.

I contacted the person who had posted that image, through their Instagram as well as the contest where they had uploaded the image. Imagine somebody stealing your photo, watermarking it as their own, and coming in third place for the best photo in a contest.

This had taken me aback — I clearly, reported that account without mercy. And learned that it was one of my followers, that did it — no surprise there, whatsoever. I had a contact, with him and asked him to delete the content from his pages, and filed a complaint to the community that held the competition banning him from entering any further.

The reactions of the guy were ludicrous as well — followed by a laughing emoji-like it was something so funny. Well a copyright strike, changed that quickly when he received an email from Instagram. He is one of the many if not most who steal without mercy.

One of the many things, I advise others in such a scenario is to always be careful about what you share online or an online domain.

Your fans can become your foes if you aren’t careful.

It hurts to know that the people you trust can easily deceive and disobey your trust like it’s nothing but crap, for mere idle pleasures. Nowadays people are generally misinformed way too easily, as more and more users flood to social media networks — the growing concerns for information theft, Ip theft is increasing day by day.

Every other day, I’m seeing people trafficking personal messages, communication, videos, photos, being trafficked through WhatsApp & Telegram. Whatsapp has become this black-market for sharing illegitimate personal content without the person’s consent — it is then branded into propaganda by the twitter elitists who make a quick buck by spreading misinformation by it.

They target the masses that have an affinity for connecting with stupidity — thus are easily riled into such propaganda with minimal effort. People’s emotions are also captured by such posts that propagate widespread content that tends to cause a lot of unwanted harm to parties whose consent is being ripped into shreds at the pleasures of these sociopaths.

I tend to advise emphatically those who do these things — their reaction is disgusting and I’m mortified by their responses as they think I’m stepping on their fun. This showcase of human indecency has become an activity of leisure and fun for these people.

Taking someone’s photo without their consent. Making someone’s video in the classroom, taking photos of human parts, taking photos of people together — all this and brandishing it with unethical remarks and posts that just spew misinformation and hate speech.

The common eye won’t think for a second when it reads, the title “couple making out in the park” — when it’s just two friends sharing a warm afternoon. That photo might reach twitter, and people would start commenting on their disgruntled thoughts. Some might even take it further by capitalizing false stories on their youtube channels to sell more views, contents, and clicks.

This senseless cycle needs to stop — we need to start raising our voice against this trend. It can be you when you share that picture of your friend into a premise where it will have discoursed with discontent, hate speech and so much more.

Though in my case, I was able to save face however small it may be. In many scenarios, it isn’t the case and it can escalate to something unwanted altogether. We need to advise and teach our people of the new age to respect privacy even if it technically doesn’t exist — as our community keeps on bringing more and more ways to exploit other people by doing just that.

Thankfully that is what awareness is for. We have to start raising concerns on this subject matter because we need to respect someone’s privacy offline as well as online. There are more pressing matters, that we should communicate about & raising our voices for mutual consent as a human right is one of them.

Peace. Thank you so much for reading.

I write about life, and the hope it bears in a poetic context. 💖🕊️

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