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Image for India's TV gay sex sting

India's TV gay sex sting

An Indian TV news report titled Gay Culture Rampant In Hyderabad has publicly outed several Indian gay men following a covert ‘gay-sting’ operation.

The report from news channel TV9 Telugu shows people searching through gay youths profiles on online dating/social networking website planetromeo.com.

The men found on the website were labeled ‘deviants’ and photos of them, along with personal information such as names, were clearly displayed.

Extremely private information about one user – including his penis size, fetishes, and his preferred sexual position – was shown in the report.

The item continued with phone-call ‘gay-stings’ of two of the website’s users whose profiles and faces were also shown. During the calls an investigator posed as a planetromeo.com user and the men are covertly asked questions about their sexual lives and preferences.

Homosexual activity in India, while legalised in 2009, still remains a cultural taboo within wider Indian society and government.

GAY COMMUNITY OUTRAGE

TV9 has been condemned by Indian Desi blog Gaysi, encouraging others to “voice their opposition to TV9’s blatant act of privacy and rights violation.”

The Gaysi article titled ‘TV9s Homophobic Coverage’ also goes on to list the news report’s broadcast violations of the News Broadcasters Association’s (NBA) Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards which, for example, “clearly prohibits superstition (Section 2 Article 8) to be passed off as a fact” citing the generalisation of gay men as ‘deviant’, used in the news report as a reference.

Aditya Bondyopadhyay, advocate and Director of LGBT Human Rights Programs for Delhi based LGBT community organisation Adhikaar, also issued a letter to TV9’s legal department.

His states that the channel “will be held solely responsible for any harm or injury that is caused to any member of the LGBT community of Hyderabad or anywhere else in India,” and also points out that the news report “hunted down private profiles of individuals.” Not only were their names and pictures broadcast but TV9’s crew “called them up in a clear attempt at entrapment and prodded them with leading questions about their private sexual lives.

“As a rule channels must not intrude on private lives or personal affairs of individuals, unless there is a clearly established larger and identifiable public interest for such a broadcast,” added Bondyopadhyay, who seeks an apology “separately and specifically, to each and every individual who has been maliciously and unethically targeted by your channel, as well as to air a news article apologizing to the entire LGBT community of India whose security, constitutionally protected liberties and freedoms, and fundamental rights to a life of dignity, have been severely jeopardized by your unscientific, prejudiced, unsubstantiated, malicious, and vicious content and comments.” The full letter can be read here.

TV9 has yet to comment on the news report, but the video of the original story has now been removed from TV9’s YouTube channel. It has since been uploaded by another YouTube user:

An English transcript of the report is here.

TV ‘gay sting’ tactics were used locally for a 7 News story last year outing NSW MP David Campbell. 7’s report was unfortunately OKed by Australia’s media watchdogs as being “in the public interest.”

Social

Comments

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21676
Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 23rd Feb, 2011

A shocker. Just nasty stuff. These guys are doing nothing unlawful.

Phazz

Phazz said on the 23rd Feb, 2011

Horrible stuff. Let's hope something can be done about it.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 23rd Feb, 2011

wow what century are we in again?

brodes13

brodes13 said on the 23rd Feb, 2011

Oh no, this stuff is so scary.

Husky-D

Husky-D said on the 24th Feb, 2011

This is awful. Can't imagine the pressure those outed guys are dealing with now.

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Yeah sounds like India to me....

jonteevee

jonteevee said on the 24th Feb, 2011

That is horrible! Reminds me that there is no such thing as complete privacy on the internet

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

This is meaningless. Just as Paris Hilton's birthday cake was stolen, this 'news' has about as much veracity as a press release from the Pentagon.

I sit in my armchair outraged but haven't got the chutzpah to lift a finger off the keypad.

Can SS stop syndicating so called news stories and start making some?

Please?

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 24th Feb, 2011

It's disgusting and lowest common denominator media. The media in India love issuing gay stuff - they know it gets attention, and stuff like this is one of the few ways they can legitimise getting 'sex' in a headline in a conservative country.

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

and "respected' gay media peddle the song. That's what they want ladies.

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Um Beau... This story is far from meaningless. This will have a major impact on the lives of many people - Australian police used to do this to it's gay citizens back in the 60's, 70's and 80's - publishing the names and publically shaming beat users etc. The actions of the Indian media could lead to the suicides / deaths / homophobic attacks on innocent GLBTI people!

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Travis, Point taken. It is meaningless in the sense that there are covert actions by the the mainstream media to peddle an homophobic argument. Whether it was back then or now, the same argument is being peddled by men who believe they are entitled to the earth.

The more we pay attention to their insecurities, the more we feed our own.

Don't buy into it.

mark_

mark_ said on the 24th Feb, 2011


hey Beau, I know people who talked the way you're talking now. They solved the problem by going to live in Thailand, Java, Mornington Island

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

If I could live amongst people who accepted they were fools I would be happy. Borneo?

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Mornintong Island sounds very nice.

JesseMatheson

JesseMatheson said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Beau, I disagree fully with you, you are pretty much saying that these people shouldn't be reprimanded for the violations of peoples rights, breach of ethical codes and overall blatant disregard for these peoples privacy and safety.

If the 78-ers had just sat back and thought like you, it may not even be legal to be gay in Australia.

The role of the media (and myself for writing this article), is not to propagate or promote their views, but to let others know that their view exists so that others can either ignore it, promote it, or oppose it.

I'm sorry but your view is simply wrong.

mark_

mark_ said on the 24th Feb, 2011


But have you heard about this~
http://www.samesame.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=21605

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Maybe the local gay community can do some spying on them.

You can bet your cods they wont all be "clean".

JesseMatheson

JesseMatheson said on the 24th Feb, 2011

But have you heard about this~
http://www.samesame.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=21605

I stand by my statement. You are trying to say that morals are only relative to the person/society that hold them and so we should not judge.. am I correct?

I agree, to an extent. Other countries and people hold morals that are in conflict with my own, but that does not mean that it validates them having these morals.

Look at Nazi Germany, one could argue that they cannot be blamed for what they did because it was their own beliefs, moral relativism would state that I am in no position to oppose their beliefs, but in reality their beliefs were built upon fundamentally false science and so they are wrong.

As for this article (case in point), there are many reasons for why this news station is in the wrong, even if it is in India and their society has different social values/morals to our own.

1) The report breaches several Indian ethical codes of conduct for Broadcasting, including the TV stations own ethical beliefs to not target minorities.

2) It is legal to be gay in India! If FOX News did this there would be a similar uproar, sure there are people who are against homosexuality in America but that doesn't give them a right to discriminate or practically destroy peoples lives.

Finally, Beaus' view is wrong because he believes we should all cast a blind eye when the past has shown us that reacting to these situations, in forms of media or direct action towards the offending outlet, does in fact create a positive change.

We are not championing TV9, we are not condoning its actions and we are not attacking their society, but we are criticising a reputable media outlet for its lack of responsible broadcasting and total lack of human rights.

*breathes*

mark_

mark_ said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Jesse, I don't know.

Beau is complaining about us moralising over other nations. And so often we are ignorant and rely on tainted sources of information. I think one that well-fed, rich people like us should visit these places before 'casting stones'.

JesseMatheson

JesseMatheson said on the 24th Feb, 2011

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_seVd99frSks/S8Pcgid_hZI/AAAAAAAAAmE/CTG2n62IGFM/s1600/facepalm-lion-facepalm-demotivational-poster-1240941693.jpg

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 24th Feb, 2011

I'm liking this Jesse dude.

He can even attach pictures.

Looks too old for me though.
Such a shame

JesseMatheson

JesseMatheson said on the 24th Feb, 2011

I'm liking this Jesse dude.

He can even attach pictures.

Looks too old for me though.
Such a shame

And very much taken, but be sure to keep reading :D

dracon388

dracon388 said on the 24th Feb, 2011



*giggle*

My thoughts on TV9

That shit be fucked up.

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

So Jesse, when was the last time you were in India or spoke to an Indian (Apart from at the checkout at Coles)?

I seriously doubt you are in any position to validate your argument just because you are employed as a Journalist.

This is the same problem that Mr Assange has. He (and others ) claim emphatically they are journo's when simply being a journo means you are a peddler of misinformation.

I would like to hear from you as a journalist such outrage as to the situation of many homosexual indigenous and non indigenous men closer to your home than what you are recycling about those from another continent.

As I said before, this is not news. This is recycled information that should never have been given the light of day.

Because I can cut and paste means nothing.

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

P.S. Your shallow empathy about concerns 'for other peoples lives' reads as shallow as your badly constructed sentences.

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Nazi Germany and Fox News in the same post.... interesting.

JesseMatheson

JesseMatheson said on the 24th Feb, 2011



International news...

http://images.memegenerator.net/Troll-Face/File/1030/Troll-Face.jpg

Beau

Beau said on the 24th Feb, 2011

Jesse, that is meaningless. Anything interesting to say?

DannyInSydney

DannyInSydney said on the 24th Feb, 2011

So Jesse, when was the last time you were in India or spoke to an Indian (Apart from at the checkout at Coles)?

I seriously doubt you are in any position to validate your argument just because you are employed as a Journalist.

This is the same problem that Mr Assange has. He (and others ) claim emphatically they are journo's when simply being a journo means you are a peddler of misinformation.

I would like to hear from you as a journalist such outrage as to the situation of many homosexual indigenous and non indigenous men closer to your home than what you are recycling about those from another continent.

As I said before, this is not news. This is recycled information that should never have been given the light of day.

Because I can cut and paste means nothing.

Beau, I discussed the news with an old contact of mine in India yesterday. He was urging people with profiles on the dating sites there to take precautions to avoid falling victim to the trap. He was in authentic fear. I accept that journalists are susceptible to recycling misinformation, but good journalists are cautious to avoid this. The broad input you can find on the internet allows foreign journalists to obtain balance by using multiple sources. To ignore foreign events is to turn your back on foreign suffering. You are very negative.

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 24th Feb, 2011

This is meaningless. Just as Paris Hilton's birthday cake was stolen, this 'news' has about as much veracity as a press release from the Pentagon.

I sit in my armchair outraged but haven't got the chutzpah to lift a finger off the keypad.

Can SS stop syndicating so called news stories and start making some?

Please?

Beau, I think you may have taken this news article the wrong way. The way i see it is that the more this story gets reported on the Internet then the more attention it will recieve, and when you look at the state of lgbt rights in India reporting on homophobia can only be a good thing for gay Indians who don't really have a voice. I disagree that the story is "meaningless".

Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 24th Feb, 2011

How ironic that this particular article catches Beau on a bad day. Jesse's write-up here was a bit of an international scoop.

For India, this is a deeply worrying situation which could effect millions of gays across the country if 'outing' behaviour by media is not nipped in the bud. Jesse recognised this and wrote up all the info quickly and compellingly, long before most other international gay news websites had seen the situation and did likewise.

Many gay and mainstream blogs around the world are now reporting this story and linking to us yesterday and today.

Well done Jesse.

Beau

Beau said on the 29th Mar, 2011

You are right Matt, this story caught me on a bad day and I was wrong. I am yet to see the irony though.

When you say scoop, I can only think of ice cream or another iced confection treat.

Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 29th Mar, 2011

Cheers Beau. Hmmm, I may well have misused the word ironic there, Alanis Morrisette-style. xx

paracetamol

paracetamol said on the 30th Mar, 2011

Beau, you go girl! Tell it like it is :D