By now, it is no longer news that the Nigerian rep in the ongoing Big Brother Africa reality TV show, Beverly Osu has been shacking up (that’s putting it mildly) in the tub with the South African dude Angelo.
The young lady has been under intense media scrutiny for her actions (from social to print media), that whether she clinches the title this year or not, she will always be remembered as that Nigerian who had sex (or not) in the BBA house to the excitement of many non-Nigerians and embarrassment of some Nigerians.
Now, my major disappointment isn’t with Beverly (heck, it’s bad enough that the BBA game show has been on for 8 years now) or the fact that she had sex live (am not her maker, she doesn't answer to me.) My grouse however is at the lack of censorship/covering or phasing the picture or video that went viral.
To be fair, most of the sites that have shown these pictures and videos advise that viewership is from 18+, but no one can readily tell who visits their blogs or when they do. Due to the fact that Beverly is Nigerian and this was the first sexually encounter (or maybe second, like I said, am not a fan) of the season, the videos and pictures went viral in no time with over 350,000 views by the time of this post. My wonder however is how these pictures and videos are sourced?
So, it turns out, that BBA has an online site called VIP Lounge where all the videos from the house are uploaded, this includes shower hour, getting dressed, soaking in the tub, sleeping, cooking and as it happens sex. Now this VIP Lounge can only be accessed by paying viewers (not sure if there is an age check or anything of the sort), so people who have paid for this access, now download the videos and put them up for public consumption on sites such as dailymotion.com and talkofnaija.com (visiting as at your own risk). From these sites, bloggers like lindaikeji.blogspot.com, ladunliadi.blogspot.com, chimoments.blogspot.com and misspetitenigeria.blogspot.com pick up these videos and so the circle goes on.
While I can’t fault anyone for wanting hits and unique visitors to their sites, I do however; want us to take a critical look at the kind of service we offer with our online activities. Due to the peculiarity of the internet, the freedom of speech knows no bound, and restriction on this platform will never be possible except if we become China or some Middle Eastern Country. Yes people were advised that viewership was for 18 and above (but really), I believe the most logical thing to do was censor or phase out those parts that were rather too explicit for even me (yeah right).
We know the NBC has radio and television covered like a hook, so the only real freedom we have to express ourselves is on the internet. No one can deny, we get away with everything and anything on the internet except maybe the sponsored programmes companies and organizations bring us, where their reputation is at stake. But the internet is for all of us, its our civic responsibility to protect it (sounds like a 'Pay Your Tax Commercial), put it to great use without having to wreck it.