March 11, 2022

Tiktok and Issues of Consent

This week we talk about sexual assault allegations made by Tiktok star Jack Wright against Sienna Mae Gomez.

We are very aware in the generation we are living in, social media influencers are making a living from creating social content such as on tiktok. For some this is a full time career. The two parties in this matter, who are both 18 years old are hugely popular in California with a mass following of already over 23 million followers

The background of these allegations were that the two school friends, began dating and featured in each others tiktok videos. However, rumours of sexual assault carried out by Sienna began to circle in May 2021.

Sienna denied she had sexually assaulted Jack but lost over 500,000 followers almost overnight.

Jack Wright was filmed allegedly unconscious on a sofa with Sienna sitting on his lap kissing him and touching his genitals whilst  as stated he is seemingly incapacitated. She has disputed the video authenticity and states this has been heavily doctored and is a distortion of what happened.

Jack has now filmed a video of tiktok talking about sexual assault and the reaction online to this. This has already had over 8 million views since January 8th 2022. He states he was kissed and repeatedly touched whilst unconscious and would break into his home at night, he would wake up to find her in his bed with his penis in her hand. Such allegations have been denied by Sienna’s representation.

This news story raises many issues which we often discuss. We live in a world where social media is used more and more.  Both these individuals will have young impressionable followers (as noted millions of followers). Had Jack not spoken out would this normalise such behaviour? Would this prevent others coming forward in similar circumstances.

There were many disturbing comments regarding the fact it could not be sexual assault if they were in a relationship.

The main point here in this matter is consent, which is clearly where they dispute what took place.

This is likely to impact Sienna’s career potentially beyond repair from a video she states is doctored. Again, we have discussed advances in technology with deep fakes and editing to a level where things can be easily distorted.

Again, it also questions what social media safeguarding should be put in place for content, especially when it can be viewed by millions in an instance.

We encourage anyone who has concerns about sexual abuse to get in touch. You can contact Alan Collins at Alan.collins@hughjames.com or Danielle Vincent at  Danielle.vincent@hughjames.com.

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