Africa

Nigerian LGBT website fights blackmail

Cropped version of Gossip Mill's photos (Photo courtesy of NoStringsNG and Gossip Mill)

Cropped version of Gossip Mill’s photos (Photo courtesy of NoStringsNG and Gossip Mill)

NoStringsNG, a website that provides a voice for LGBT Nigerians, has again taken aim at blackmailers and disreputable journalists preying on their allegedly gay countrymen.

Gossip Mill, a Nigerian gossip and entertainment website, was the latest target of NoStringsNG, which objected to a Gossip Mill article and photos that outed a reportedly gay student at Otefe Polytechnic in Delta State.

One of the photos showed the young man naked on a bed with a partially clothed man. NoStringsNG stated:

“A caption on the photo read ‘He was forced to continue for pictures to be taken’; clearly this indicated that the young student was blackmailed, and this is completely wrong and criminal.”

Other than nakedness, the photo “did not suggest that any sexual activity whatsoever took place,” NoStringsNG stated. The website also presented evidence suggesting that the photo was published because the young man refused to pay blackmail:

“To prove and establish that this is indeed a case of blackmail, the photograph did not show the face of the other person in the picture with him, as it seems to have been intentionally cut out.”

Gossip Mill’s sensational and misleading click-bait headline was “Photos: Delta State Minister Caught Red Handed With A Guy Doing It At Otefe Polytechnic Oghara (Must See).”

The headline on NoStringsNG was “Delta State: Nigerian male student blackmailed with photos as homosexual.”

Although the Gossip Mill article said the young man is a “fire brand minister of the gospel,” but commenters and NoStringsNG said he is just a choir member at a popular Nigerian church. The website added:

“Hateful comments trolling the website by Nigerians on the news showed a deep level of ignorance and … their faulty understanding on homosexuality and Christianity.

“NoStrings has not yet confirmed the authenticity of this report.”

Blackmail of LGBT people is a serious problem in homophobic societies, especially those such as Nigeria that have anti-homosexuality laws.

nostringsng-logo2NoStringsNG has previously exposed blackmail schemes elsewhere in Delta States (Nov. 16, 3016: “Nigerian’s choice: Prison for gay sex or pay blackmail?”), in Rivers State (July 4, 2016: “Nigeria: Man kidnapped by blackmailers who claim he’s gay”) and in Lagos (June 25, 2016: “Nigerian police extort money from man they claim is gay”).

For more examples of the problem of anti-LGBT blackmail, see related articles below.

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