Is this the right word to describe this situation?

Submitted by gone in AskRaddle


1.) Person A takes a video of Person B without Person B's knowledge or consent.

2.) Person B notices that random black blur might or might not be Person A's Googly spIphone and asks, "Did you just take a video of me without my knowledge or consent?"

3.) Person A replies, "Yes, I did just take a video of you without your knowledge or consent."

4.) Person B asks, "Why did you just take a video of me without my knowledge or consent?"

5.) Person A replies, "Because I think I can use this video against you in a court of law and that video gives me power over you."

The word I am thinking of is "blackmail". The person who I believe confessed to blackmailing is Person A and the person who I believe was blackmailed is Person B.

I do not believe that the word is suddenly incorrect if you or I or anybody else doesn't like Person B. I believe that Person B can be blackmailed just as easily as somebody you or I or anybody else likes because I believe that blackmail is just like that and that it doesn't only happen to good people who would never do anything to deserve being blackmailed for any more that blackmail only happens to bad people who deserve to be blackmailed.

I don't believe that the use of the word blackmail suddenly becomes incorrect if we find out later that Person A is a pig or a military recruiter who will never be arrested for, much less serve time for the crime of blackmail nor does the usage of the objective legal term blackmail suddenly become incorrect if we find out later that Person B is a "hysterical" "sobbing" "toofless" "homeless" who "nobody in their right mind would believe."

I just don't think language works that way.


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RosaReborn wrote

Sure you could call it blackmail but that doesn't mean it's wrong. If you hold a cop accountable with footage of them, or a dashcam video of someone hitting your car or something, it's totally reasonable that this video be used to make others compensate for their shitty actions. I think it becomes bad when you use the footage to strengthen power disparicies over a long period of time, like a boss threatening to turn you in unless you do something for them. Or police busting sex workers etc.


gone wrote (edited )


No worries. My attorney friend person thingy was online and clarified that I described blackmail.

My family is just kind of weird is all. It isn't normal to scream, "That's not a person, that's a BUM!!!!!!!!" at your three year old the first time she sees a homeless person and asks, "Why is that man sleeping on the sidewalk?" but....

That does not make the three year old child some sort of teflon saint for noticing that grownups lie for the first time ever and crying about the unfairness of the world.

Little kids are just like that.

Grownups should have better impulse control. Sorry 'bout that, Raddle, I'm working on my problem.


RosaReborn wrote

Stay strong. Solidarity with the homeless and with you and the free thinking young girl!