Authorities in Brazil are searching for suspects after a gang rape allegedly involving more than 30 men and a teenage girl was exposed on social media through the attackers' own photo and video tweets.
Arrest warrants have been issued in the case, including one for the 16-year-old girl's 19-year-old boyfriend, the BBC wrote, citing a police report. That report says the girl visited her boyfriend's house in a "favela," one of the poor communities on the western side of Rio de Janiero, where she was apparently drugged before she woke up surrounded by men in a completely different home.
After returning home, the girl reportedly didn't tell anyone about the rape, but, days later, a 40-second video of the attack appeared on Twitter, drawing hundreds of complaints and spurring the police investigation. The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, which was the first English-language publication to report on the story, described the horrific tweets of the video, and another that included a photo.
In one tweet, a man whose screen profile identified him as Michel in Rio posted a video of the 16-year-old naked and appearing to regain consciousness, with the words, "Pounded the girl -- get it? Hahaha." A second man, with the name Juninho, tweeted a picture of his face next to the woman's genitalia with the caption, "Rio state opens a new tunnel for the speed train."
Brazilian media are being criticized for their slow reaction to the story, while thousands of people are reacting online.
"The first reaction on social media was actually lots of patting on the back of the men who had done that, almost like celebrating what had happened, and also saying she had probably provoked it ... suddenly the victim is made to blame," journalist Julia Carneiro said during a BBC World Service radio broadcast.
Carneiro said that the backlash to that initial reaction has been protests on social media using the hashtag #EstuproNuncaMais, which in Portugese translates as "rape never again," are in response to a "culture of rape" in Brazil. Thousands of tweets in both English and Portugese had been tagged with #EstuproNuncaMais, or #EstuproNaoECulpaDaVitima ("rape is not the victim's fault") by Friday afternoon.
The popular comedy site and newspaper, Sensacionalista, which is often referred the as the Brazilian version of The Onion, posted this before going silent.