Home News No, remote Amazon tribe isn’t addicted to porn

No, remote Amazon tribe isn’t addicted to porn

7
0

In April, I hiked more than 50 miles through the Amazon rainforest to visit a remote village of the Marubo people. The 2,000-member tribe had recently gained access to high-speed internet, and I wanted to understand how it was affecting their lives.

During my week-long visit, I saw how they use the Internet to communicate between villages, chat with distant relatives, and seek help in emergencies. Many Marubo tribesmen also told me that they are very worried that contact with the outside world will subvert their culture, which has been preserved by their generations living deep in the forest. Some elders complained that teenagers are addicted to their mobile phones, group chats are full of gossip, and minors watch pornography.

Therefore, part of our June 2 article was about the Marubo people’s introduction to the disadvantages of the Internet.

But after publication, this angle took on a completely different dimension.

In the past week, more than 100 websites around the world have published headlines falsely claiming that the Marubo are addicted to pornography. Along with these headlines, these websites have also published photos of the Marubo in their villages.

The New York Post was one of the first to report the news, saying last week that Marubo members were “addicted to porn.” Dozens of other media outlets followed suit. TMZ’s headline was perhaps the most blunt: “TRIBE’S STARLINK CONNECTION LEADED TO PORN ADDICTION!!!”

The Washington Post and TMZ have not yet responded to requests for comment.

Similar headlines appeared in droves around the world, including in the UK, Germany, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Nigeria, Mexico and Chile. Russian state media RT published the announcement in Arabic. There were also countless videos, memes and social media posts.

In Brazil, the rumor spread quickly, including to some of the small Amazon cities where Marubo currently lives, works and studies.

Maru Hiroto is not addicted to pornography. No signs of it appeared in the forest, and there was no mention of it in the New York Times article.

Instead, the article mentions a complaint from a Marubo leader that some Marubo minors were sharing pornographic content in WhatsApp group chats. He said this was particularly worrying because Marubo culture even discourages kissing in public.

Many of the sites that distort this detail are news aggregators, meaning their business model is largely based on repackaging stories from other news organizations, often using sensational headlines, to sell advertising.

Because these sites also link to the original reports, they are generally protected by law even if they distort the original content.

These types of sites and misleading headlines are just part of the internet economy these days. Their tactics are familiar to the informed internet user.

For Marubo, however, the experience was confusing and infuriating.

“These accusations are baseless, untrue and reflect a biased ideological current that does not respect our autonomy and identity,” Enoque Marubo, a Marubo leader who brought Starlink to his tribal village, said in an online video posted Sunday evening.

He said the New York Times article overemphasized the negative impact of the Internet, “leading to the spread of distorted and harmful information.”

Tribal leader Alfredo Marubo (all Marubo members use the same last name) said in the New York Times article that he was concerned about pornography. On Tuesday, his tribal association issued a statement saying that misleading headlines “have the potential to cause irreversible damage to the image of the people, so we are saddened by this misunderstanding of accurate reporting.”

Eliseo Marubo, a lawyer and indigenous rights activist, has become one of the most visible figures in the Marubo tribe. So when the headlines went viral, Eliseo said he received tens of thousands of notifications and comment tags on social networks. Many people, he said, mocked the Marubo people.

Eliseo said the article had sparked an important debate about the sudden arrival of high-speed internet to remote indigenous groups, demonstrating in its own way the promise of the internet. But the misinformation it generated also illustrated the dangers of the internet.

“The Internet has brought a lot of benefits,” he said, “but it has also brought a lot of challenges.”

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here