1. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico

    Untraceable

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Oct 16, 2009.

    I am watching the movie Untraceable and the premise of the movie is posing some serious questions about personal responsibility and accountability to me.

    If you’ve not seen the movie, the premise is that someone is capturing people and torturing them all the while filming the torture and streaming the video to a website. The website has a blog where people can post comments right next to the streaming video and every time someone new comes onto the website, whatever torture is happening at that time increases in some manner until the individual is dead.

    The more people log onto the website, the faster the person being tortured expires.

    My question is this:

    Imagine this actually happened.

    What do you feel would be the level of accountability that each person who logs onto the website should be held to?

    Is each person guilty of murder? Accessory to murder?

    If there are a million people who log on, should they all get tried?

    **For the purposes of this thread, imagine that there is a simple way to trace each person who logs into the website**
     
  2. Lavarian
    Offline

    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,562
    Likes Received:
    93
    If the person accidentally went to the site or followed a link without knowing what was going on, then I don't believe they could be held accountable.

    However, if a person knew what was going on, and knew that by going to the site they would effectively be helping to kill another person and still went to the site, then I believe they should be held morally responsible. Obviously not quite as responsible as the person who rigged everything up, but still partially to blame.

    I'm curious to see that movie and see how bogus the computer science behind it is. (If it is bogus.) Some of the computer science you see in movies is laughable. More accessible to the layman crowd, but still laughable.
     
  3. Irish87
    Offline

    Irish87 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    California
    No matter how much we would like to believe that we humans are so amazingly modernized and heavily evolved, we still like to see people die. We love seeing others suffer, whether mentally or physically. I suppose you can argue that we do so to make ourselves feel better or so that we can fully respect the fact that we are alive. That doesn't, however, explain away the fact that you can make a movie full of people being tortured and consumers will buy it by the truck load. And no, I'm not saying that from an anti Capitalist standpoint. I'm perfectly fine with people flocking to see movies like SAW, but when someone takes such delight in seeing death it is hard for me to believe it when they say we're better than our ancestors.

    Think about reality television for a moment. How many of them are based entirely around the embarrassment of their cast? Hell, when the whole Jon and Kate Plus 8 scandal hit the show got ratings it never saw before. Did we just watch that so that we could feel better about life?

    Oh, and just to save my pride, I do not watch reality television... except for COPS... and Deadliest Catch... and Dirty Jobs... and Hells Kitchen... and Top Chef...

    I love this idea that now that we're modern we're so much smarter than our ancient cohorts. Yes, we have technology and science to prove we've become brilliant, but if you throw a guy in the middle of an arena and have him fight a wild animal then people will watch. Yes, we like to see bravery, but we will always have that tiny voice in the back of our heads cheering for the bull.

    As for whether or not the people who watched this hypothetical blog should be arrested as an accessory to murder, I haven't any idea. It's nice to pretend that we would, but there have been real life cases of people watching others die and not being arrested. Not long ago a kid (who I believe was schizophrenic) told a forum he was going to kill himself on his webcam. They logged on and watched as he took a bunch of pills and went to sleep. The entire time they chastised him. If I remember correctly no one called the police and in the end the boy died. I don't believe anyone was charged in that.

    In the global society that we currently reside in, personal responsibility is seen as a political talking point. Here on the West Coast there are always stories in the summer of people leaving their toddlers or very young children in the car for several hours, killing the child, and then being comforted because "they've gone through enough". Tell that to the child that they cooked alive. I remember one case where a woman went into a drug dealers house for seven hours, did a ton of drugs, and then found her dead baby in the car. She got away with it because "she suffered enough".

    We humans are brutal individuals. We don't truly care for the lives of others, and at times it is a blessing. The last thing I want is for somebody to tell me how to live, but certainly I think there should be a consequence for our actions.
     
  4. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Just recently in the UK three people were goaled for child pornography. They sent each other photos of their activities and there may have been other people involved but police couldn't find evidence so no one else was convicted.

    Legally, I guess this would be the situation with Untracable. People who were on the site just viewing wouldn't be criminally responsible, surely? As Lavarian says, they may have just come across it by accident.

    There have been cases of people coming across sites with things like suicides about to happen. Often they've intervened in fact so I'd like to think that in the situation you describe this is what would happen and the site would get closed down quickly.

    As for people who watch, well no I still wouldn't say they are morally responsible really. Just sickos. And even if the torture increases, they still aren't the ones actually doing it. The main moral responsibility would be the crazy who set the situation up. It's frightening to think how easy it would be to tap into the evil that lurks in people.
     
  5. ChimmyBear
    Offline

    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    In the arms of the man I love at home in NC.
    Personally, I believe that if the people logged onto the site to actually see suffering, they should be held accountable. If I watch a man murder someone and never report the murder then I am held accountable to some degree. Why should this situation be any different? The person who watched and helped cause the swift death of another should be tried as the one who set it up. Bottom line, we are all human beings not animals and there has to be a line of accountability.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    First off, I suspect the main motivation that would attract people to the site would be curiosity. Most would probably think it was a hoax.

    Very few would visit the site with the intent of participating in a murder. Only the person who set up the kill mechanism is really guilty of premeditated murder.

    Anyone who visited the site knowing that their actions were contributing to a murder would be morally responsible, but I don't think they could be held legally responsible. Reasonable doubt would always be present whether they knew their actions would result in a death.
     
  7. ChimmyBear
    Offline

    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    In the arms of the man I love at home in NC.
    This is the meat of the issue, what is their intent when they logged onto the site. A moral responsibility weighs on all of us, but that doesn't stop people from acting in an immoral way. Laws are set up to govern and protect society from the dangers of those who act out such atrocities; however, it is true, there is no way to prove that the actions carried out were a deliberate act to cause hurt to another person.
     
  8. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I agree with you. People who do it to see the killing should be held accountable but not everyone may know what it was.

    That movie is awesome. I liked it when I saw it.
     

Share This Page