Local News

Nation’s shock as woman who became explicit viral meme found dead

Tiziana Cantone took her own life after a sex tape featuring her went viral.
Tiziana Cantone

Tiziana Cantone

A young Italian woman has ended her own life after a sex video shared without her consent went viral.

Tiziana Cantone, a 31-year-old from Naples, sent her ex boyfriend a video of her performing a sex act on another man. But after he, and other friends she trusted, shared the footage online, things began to spiral out of control.

Her face quickly became a viral meme in Italy, and the video went viral after two Italian footballers, Antonio Floro Flores and Paolo Cannavaro, mocked Tiziana on social media.

Cantone fast became the subject of attention from gossip sites and the general public, who were desperate to find out who she was.

And despite numerous attempts to have video removed from the internet, the explicit video kept on re-emerging.

A devastated Cantone was in the process of legally changing her name when she was found dead.

“She had always been a healthy, normal girl,” her mother, Maria Teresa, told La Repubblica.

“Recently, she had been very unhappy. She suffered from everything she saw and heard, and in particular from the lawsuit, because she believed justice had not been done.”

Her friend, Teresa Petrosino, told a local newspaper that Tiziana had been “distraught” about the video leak.

“She had spoken of her desire to leave everything behind, and to close with the past,” she said.

“I wonder how anyone can be so fierce, how to rage against a girl who has not done anything wrong.

“I think that they should be ashamed of all those who have filled the web of insults and meanwhile secretly watched the images.”

Italian MP Donata Lenzi, head of the Democratic Party (PD) group in the Social Affairs Commission, has proposed laws punishing cyberbullying and the sharing of revenge porn.

In New Zealand, ‘revenge porn’ and cyberbullying were officially made crimes in 2015, under The Harmful Digital Communications Bill. This came months after England and Wales introduced a similar move to protect people online.

However no such law is in place yet in Italy, with the country left reeling from Tiziana’s death.

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