NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A number of viral videos involving minors, which made the rounds on social media in recent days, are presently being investigated by the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Education Minister Jeffery Lloyd revealed Wednesday.
While addressing parliamentarians in the House of Assembly, the education minister invited the government to consider punitive measures for persons who knowingly record minors to display, forward or transmit to others via the world wide web or in social media chat groups.
Lloyd said such acts can bring an individual’s life into ‘endless and unimaginable disrepute’.
Some of the videos, which have either been shared via Facebook, What’s App and other social media platforms, show minors being ridiculed on camera for their alleged actions.
One video in particular that garnered much feedback, was that of a school-aged girl who was recorded while engaging in a heated exchange with an adult female.
Speaking in the Lower Chamber yesterday, the education minister said the videos have created much disturbance in the educational community and in society on the whole.
“It’s just quite disturbing to me, Mr. speaker,” said Lloyd of the viral videos.
He also expressed his disgust with the ‘insensitivity and disrespect’ that was exercised by persons recording minors, whom he said are now the subject and object of ridicule, disparagement and offense.
Speaking of one video in particular, Lloyd said the identity of the minor has been completely exposed to a point where it is nearly impossible for the child to hide, or for persons related to or associated with the child, not to be offended while watching.
“It is a deeply disturbing circumstance; to her family and to everyone affiliated and associated [with the child in the video] and to the entire school body. I don’t want to name the school, but they are now upset, if not traumatized.”
The education minister therefore issued an appeal to the Bahamian community, especially adults, to use their discretion and ‘exercise sense and sensitivity’ when it comes to dealing with minors.
“If adults wish to expose themselves and parade themselves before the electronic world in a manner that brings or visits ridicule and abuse upon them, that’s their business but children, Mr. Speaker, must enjoy the protection of the civil society in which those children are required to exist,” Lloyd stressed.
The education minister said he is certain that the government, at some point, and by any means necessary, will move to protect the vulnerability of children and protect them from incalculable harm, which can affect them for a lifetime.
He made reference to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, of which section 20 points to the electronic transmission of information that is considered to be defamatory.