Hivemind

Reddit Watches with Glee as Camgirl Has Heartbreaking Meltdown

Social schadenfreude.
picture 23 Reddit Watches with Glee as Camgirl Has Heartbreaking Meltdown

(Photo: Live Leak)

Much has been said about the needling anti-female sentiments that buzz like an electric current beneath the posting habits, inside jokes, and social infrastructure of the male-dominated Reddit. As much as it can serve as a galvanizing force for Internet justice, the social news site can also be a vicious gut-punch for women looking to elbow their way into the boys’ club.

So if that rape thread wasn’t enough to turn you off from Reddit for a time, perhaps the delight with which users mock the breakdown of a “camgirl” will do it for you. Because trust us, the video–and the comments accompanying it–are heartwrenching.

Camgirls are women who host live videochat sessions where they perform various sex acts for donations. If they reach a certain monetary goal, they’ll perform that act on camera for the chattering audience. Insults and poor behavior are unfortunately par for the course in these types of gigs–picture the toughness it requires to work in a strip club, and then imagine what would happen if everyone there could hide behind an anonymized user name. Camgirling is a tough job, but it can also be a fairly lucrative one.

When Redditors got a hold of a video of a camgirl named Nina, captured on the website Live Leak and posted to the videos subreddit, they did not seem concerned with the subtleties of the profession. All we see is a vulnerable-looking woman with long, chestnut hair sitting cross-legged in a flimsy tanktop, finally–perhaps inevitably–letting the hateful insults pierce her. On Live Leak, the video is called “Camgirl has meltdown online. Bwaaaahahaha – now show us your boobies!”

When one of the users watching her livestream calls her fat, Nina breaks down, retorting, “Do you even know anything about my life? Do you even know that a man broke my arm and that’s why I gained weight to begin with? That I’ve been trying so desperately to lose weight so I can be the person that I was? Do you even fucking know that a guy that I loved so much fucking messed my whole life up?”

It’s devastating. Anyone with half a heart, you would think, would be destroyed by how deeply sad Nina’s story is. But nope, not Reddit.

“It’s sadder when you realize Big Girls Don’t Cry was playing in the background,” read one of the top comments on the Reddit thread about the video. “That’s not sad; that’s funny,” retorted another user, his comment garnering even more upvotes than the first.

The only remotely empathetic comment–“This is awful. Everything about this makes me sad.”–was thankfully high-scoring, but was followed up by another top comment: “Yes, it was quite difficult to masturbate to.”

“But not impossible,” replied one user.

“Trying to make a buck off of lonely pervs has its pitfalls,” read another comment.

A fellow camgirl was sympathetic, but brusque:

“Yeah, I saw that yesterday. As a cam girl myself, I have to say that she really did it to herself. There are plenty of haters in any cam/chat room. You just need to ignore, block, move on. She let them get to her, clearly. Now, obviously, she has some serious issues which greatly compounded the problem.”

When we went to find more about Nina–she is 29 years old, lives in the U.S. and is apparently a Sagittarius–she was online, doing another live show. Her schedule said that she does one for 12 hours, every single day. Some Redditors were asking her questions in the text chat, wondering if she had seen herself on the social news site. “Oh that’s cool, maybe I could be the next Chris Crocker or something!” she replied when someone linked her.

“I don’t remember the last time I had fun,” she proclaimed. “That was like the best thing that ever happened to me.”

She seemed happier, but not happy.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com

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