Vice: Allison Tierney: There’s a Spike of Sextortion Incidents

There is germ of a screenplay idea here somewhere. The most obvious is a “you messed with the wrong guy” scenario. Teen gets s-extorted. Shammed, the teen kills himself. Teen’s dad, a gangster gone straight, returns to his old life determined to avenge his son. There’s a relatively pedestrian “police procedural” in there.  Victim of s-extortion reports it to the police. They chase down the perpetrators. A recent Channel 4 documentary Celebrity Sextortion walked a very similar path. In it Dan Lobb tried and failed to tack down his s-extorters. The issue for me seems to be in the tension between public and private behaviour, shame, privacy, greed, and morality. The only way anyone can be s-exploited is if they are caught doing something they are ashamed of. The first scenario asserts the morality of the current power structures. The second explores the technology of the exploitation. The more interesting story is overcoming the shame imposed on them by the attempted s-extorsion. Someone is targeted. They refuse to pay the ransom. Their video is released. What do they do? How does the experience change their relationships? Where does it take them? This scenario puts me in mind of the #metoo movement. The person finds strength knowing they are not alone. Their example starts a revolution that changes the world.


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