On the Edge review: Vogue Williams tackles online bullying

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Trolled, Sextorted and Hours from Death explores the vicious world of revenge porn

Louise Bruton

In Trolled, Sextorted and Hours from Death, the third episode from Vogue Williams’ On the Edge series (Tuesday, RTÉ Two), she investigates the impact of online bullying, grooming and catfishing on women and young girls.

While it’s a well-known topic – thanks to MTV’s show Catfish – the show’s global view demonstrates just how widespread this problem really is.

In the US, Williams meets Alicia Kozakiewicz, an internet safety and missing person’s advocate who, aged 13 in 2002, was kidnapped from her home in Pittsburgh, and raped and tortured by a man she met in a chat room.

She also interviews YouTube star Chrissy Chambers, whose ex-boyfriend posted videos of him having sex with her while she was unconscious to 37 different porn sites. Ms Chambers is the first person to ever take civil action against an ex for uploading revenge porn.

Williams’ interviewing style is casual, making it easy for people to confide in her. And using her own experience – where her face was photoshopped on to images on a porn site – there’s a clear understanding of what’s being shared with her.

Paedophile hunters

When we meet self-appointed paedophile hunters Katie and Neil Ivall in Bedfordshire, who set up Facebook profiles as young girls to catch the men who seek them out, it’s apparent that there are not enough official resources policing social media.

In the case of revenge porn, the “Erin Brockovich of porn” Charlotte Laws says that the laws are not keeping up with the amount of people being abused on a daily basis.

Trolled, Sextorted and Hours from Death is difficult viewing but it’s a timely and factual reminder that we are still in the development stages of figuring out online privacy and ethics – especially when tweets, videos and images can be deleted, leaving little evidence behind.

 

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