Jessica Vitoria Canedo

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By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL*

Every social media account that spread the lie about Jéssica Canedo, every internet user who commented, liked and shared – everyone has blood on their hands

Jéssica Vitoria Canedo was just 22 years old.

An Instagram page, with more than a million followers, announced graphic works fake conversations between her and comedian Whindersson Nunes.

The fake news circulated widely on the internet, shared by other pages, such as I shocked, who has 21 million followers on Instagram and almost another seven million on Twitter.

Jéssica Canedo, an ordinary, anonymous person, immediately became a sub-celebrity and began to be bombarded with provocations and attacks. She was female and young, which made her an ideal target for such a scandal. Her mother appealed to them to stop, citing the young woman's fragile mental health.

Not a week passed and Jéssica Canedo committed suicide.

The tragedy with the young girl from Minas Gerais illustrates some of the pathologies of our digital times – which don't start with him, it's true, but seem to worsen.

First, the unhealthy obsession with “famous” gossip.

If that case were true, it wouldn't be anyone's business. They were both adults. And what's the point of knowing that Whindersson Nunes, a notorious womanizer, was having an affair with a woman?

If they had appeared in public and photographed, it would have been a silly curiosity. But (pretends) graphic works of private conversations? What is the limit – or is there none?

The people watch the crown, is moved by Princess Diana dead because of paparazzi clueless – but don't even think about the situation of a girl who, in fact, unlike Princess Diana, did not seek public visibility.

Second, gratuitous cruelty.

What is the need to go after Jéssica Canedo, to insult her and make malicious comments, to make speculations? I'm not even talking about humanity or empathy. I'm talking about that basic divide between what is and what is not my business.

Third, irresponsibility.

Every social media account that spread the lie, every internet user who commented, liked and shared – everyone has blood on their hands. It was a spicy case, who cares if it's true or what effect it will have on the people involved?

The pleas from her mother and Jessica Canedo herself? Oh, mimimi. And ready.

The Bolsonaristas are having a carnival, because the I shocked is friendly to Lula. Anyone who has the stomach can see the spectacle of indignation staged by an amoral scoundrel like Nikolas Ferreira.

Let it be clear: there is no excuse for I shocked. The page is trash of cheap sensationalism, with zero care for the quality of the information.

What happened to Jéssica Canedo was not an unpredictable misfortune. The business model of I shocked and similar pages assumes this risk.

Those responsible for it and all the other pages involved (which are now deleting posts and publishing evasive and hypocritical statements from their legal advisors) must be held civilly and criminally responsible. They must pay a fine. They should go to jail. They should be banned from social media forever.

But big tech and its allies also have blood on their hands – that is, the extreme right itself – who block, with all the weapons at their disposal, any proposal to regulate networks.

Lawless Internet kills. I would like Jéssica Canedo's tragedy to change the situation, but, unfortunately, not even at Christmas I can believe that.

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of Democracy in the capitalist periphery: impasses in Brazil (authentic). [https://amzn.to/45NRwS2]

Originally posted on the author's social media.


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