Sometimes we might forget that the internet is just a seedy back alley that smells like river trash, a place where shadowy, unidentifiable mammals sort through old milk cartons and hiss at each other. Then we read a story about a credulous woman whose breastfeeding tutorial ended up being edited to look like porn and then posted on porn sites, and we all remember how pleasant it is when our modems shut down and we have to gather quaintly around the old cable television.
In 2010, MaryAnn Sahoury of Fair Lawn, NJ agreed to participate in an instructional breastfeeding video. She was really excited about the experience, she says, because she'd just had a baby and all the wonderful postpartum hormones that keep new mothers from devouring their screaming, shitblasting infants evidently hadn't worn off yet (Caitlin Moran just recently talked about motherhood on NPR, I got this). The video was made by Meredith Video Studios, part of the Meredith Corporation, and everything seemed above board — the producer assured Sahoury that video would only be used for educating people about breastfeeding's sundry benefits and techniques.
Then, as cheaply produced, misguided videos tend to do, Sahoury's tutorial found its way to the video arcade that is YouTube, where it started eating candy cigarettes and hanging out with teenagers who wear matching patches on their leather jackets and stick their arms up the claw machine. Before she knew it, the video had been edited by a third party to make it look less like a breastfeeding tutorial and more like porn, and summarily posted on porn sharing sites like XTube and YouPorn. In an even creepier twist, Sahoury discovered that the video revealed not only her first name, but her last name and her daughter's name. "For a mom," she said, "it's really hard to see that. You don't want your kids exposed to that world."
Sahoury is quite obviously suing Meredith for misusing the video, though a spokesperson for the corporation said that Meredith was just as shocked and chagrined as Sahoury that her video ended up floating intrepidly through the internet's sewers like a boat made out of newspaper.