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Periscope Holds Promise, But Use With Care

Periscope Holds Promise, But Use With Care
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Oct 13, 2015 9:11 AM PDT    Text size: 

LOS ANGELES — Twitter’s popular Periscope live video streaming app holds a lot of promise for adult video producers seeking to market their brands, but caution is advised for those in the industry who use it to document “behind the scenes” action and beyond.

As Kendra “Library Girl” Sunderland discovered the hard way, however, streaming sexually explicit live videos of yourself can have unintended consequences — and while in Kendra’s case, her outing resulted in a far greater fan base and career opportunities in adult entertainment — not everyone that uses streaming media to document their days fares as well.

Take for example the case of 23-year-old Floridian Whitney Marie Beall, who decided to not only drive while drunk, but thought that streaming her illegal actions via Periscope was a good idea — attracting around 60 viewers to last night’s show — at least one of whom called the cops to report her.

“I am drunk,” Beall admitted on the live video she streamed after leaving a local bar for the drive home. “I’m driving. I think I’m on a flat tire. This is horrible… Goodbye red light…”

While reports reveal that the local law enforcement agency, the Lakeland, Fla., police department, is prohibited from using Periscope on official computers, one officer was apparently able to use his own account on a personal device in order to track down Beall’s location — even as she was a moving target, driving down the road.

Beall was promptly stopped, and after failing a field sobriety test, was arrested and charged with DUI — before she could hurt herself or anyone else.

It was an ending to this story that served the interest of public safety — but what if the motivation to report a “crime” was in the name of public morals rather than public safety?

There are certainly many people in America and elsewhere that believe that all pornography is criminal and should be punished, and likewise, some special interest groups are bent on reporting, for example, commercial porn shoots in California, performed without the use of condoms or film permits.

It is not too far of a stretch of the imagination to envision tech-savvy vigilantes using Periscope and other popular applications to purposefully identify the locations of adult video productions in real time as they are happening, and then alerting authorities to a potential crime scene that needs investigation.

The moral of the story is that new technology may be providing new content and monetization channels — but these tools should be used with care — and not in a way that reveals your location when you’re doing something that you shouldn’t be doing.

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