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Video of Supposed Sexual Assualt Appears on a Campus Social Media App

Gruesome or disturbing stories emanating from universities or colleges always seem to make waves, steeped as they are in the almost universally despised 'lad culture' that looms large over so many campuses both here and in the US (although I guess they'd called it 'bro culture'). Female students are far too often publicly shamed, abused or embarrassed on platforms like Snapchat or Instagram, but while those stories only hint at the darkness beneath the surface, this one is drenched in it.

Yeti: Campus Stories is a uni-centric app based around posting anonymous photo and video material, kind of like a cross pollination of Snapchat and something like Yik-Yak. A lot of it is fairly tame, some of it is disgusting, and then there's this. On Friday a video which appeared to show a girl at Florida A&M being raped began to circulate. The room in the video is empty, but for a television, it could well be a common room in a student halls or something similar. In it, a man in a black shirt, always with his head faced away from the camera, rolls over the seemingly either unconscious or incapacitated girl and proceeds to sexually assault her, or at least that's what it looks like. The person filming it only makes himself apparent with one utterance of 'Get right'.

Typically, content shared on Yeti remains confined to the university it pertains to, but this has spread wider, and the moderators are falling over each other trying to find out who the culprit was. None of the content is timed, making it even harder to tell exactly how old the footage is, but the buzz seems to suggest that it went live some time around Thursday afternoon. An email from the FAMU to Jezebel outlining the situation read as follows:

“The FAMU police department IT person has researched several different ways to ascertain information from the video with negative results. We have reached out to our students, hoping someone or anyone has some information about the video. I have also reached out to other law enforcement agencies asking for their assistance as well. We are doing everything we can to get information.”

Yeti isn't as well equipped to deal with criminal content as Snapchat is, and there are loopholes that can be exploited where video content is concerned. The commenters have almost universally urged police action, and the local authorities (which would be Tallahassee) are now working in co-operation with the developers to figure out who did this. They subpoenaed the company in order to access the necessary material as well as have it taken down. Had that not gone through, the video could have stayed on Yeti almost indefinitely, purely due to an oversight in the terms and conditions.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Video of Supposed Sexual Assualt Appears on a Campus Social Media App Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, December 10, 2015 Rating: 5

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