The family of Tiziana Cantone, an Italian woman who committed suicide after a video of her having sex with a man went viral are urging authorities to take drastic steps towards protecting people’s privacy, so that “her death would not be in vain,” CNN News is reporting.
According to the Daily Mail, the 31-year-old woman had sent a taunting video of her having sex with another man to her ex. The ex-boyfriend had posted the video online, where it was shared thousands of times, making a massive mockery of Cantone which eventually drove her to commit suicide.
Her mother, Maria Giglio, has described her daughter as a “sensitive” girl who just wanted to show her ex that she was “over him”. According to the 58-year-old woman, she was ill-prepared to handle what followed.
Over a million people viewed the sex tape online. In the video, Cantone is heard telling her new man “You’re making a video? Good.” That line became an online joke and a slogan printed on smartphone cases and T-shirts.
The video found its way to porn sites. Rumors circulated that she was Italy’s latest porn star. She was also a permanent fixture in gossip blogs and was consistently the butt of cruel comments and parodies.
Paddy Power, a betting firm adopted the video line as a marketing slogan. Even Italian soccer players made funny skits of themselves using the line. The whole of Italy had turned Tiziana Cantone to a national joke, mocking and abusing her for months.
Tiziana had tried twice to take her life. Friends say she was deeply depressed and was contemplating suicide in the months leading to her death. According to her family, the negative attention, especially from the social media world, was what drove her to hang herself.
Ms. Cantone was recognized in the street and received abuses online and offline. This made her quit her job and change her name to avoid being recognized. She also left Naples where she resided and moved to the rural area of Tuscany, but the insults and humiliation followed her everywhere.
Her lawyer, Robert Manzillo, said steps were being taken to sue people who were still sharing the sex tape on social media, including Facebook
“We have appealed to the right to be forgotten law. Facebook was immediately ordered to remove the content from its social network platform and to remove every post or publication containing images that refer specifically to the person.”
After a protracted court battle, Cantone won the “right to be forgotten,” with a court ruling that the video be removed from websites, search engines, and social media. In 2013, the European Union had ruled that people be given the “right to be forgotten online,” instructing search engines to remove “inaccurate, inadequate and irrelevant” data or be hit with a fine.
Cantone was ordered to pay $22,500 in legal costs. This was a kick in the teeth and the final straw for Tiziana. Her mother said she suffered from all she heard and was really devastated with the hefty costs attached to the legal proceedings believing that she had been denied justice.
According to an Italian newspaper Naples daily II Mattino, even in death, people are still mocking and laughing at the 31-year-old woman. A friend, Teresa Petrosino, said Tiziana Cantone saw no way back, which forced her to take her life.
“She left everything behind after being destroyed by the abuse. I wonder how anyone can be so fierce, how to rage against a girl who has not done anything wrong…they fill the web with insults and meanwhile secretly watched the images.”
Walter Caputo, a counselor, said Tiziana was looking to be famous with a certain type of notoriety that backfired “and was not a saint,” he has since apologized.
The video is still online when this story was published.
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