“When My Rapist Showed Up Under The ‘People You May Know’ Tab”

by Jamie Bogert

Along the right side of your Facebook homepage—among the sponsored ads of things you don’t need and the trending topics you don’t really care about—is the often perplexing list of People You May Know. These people could include: a friend of a friend who you saw at a party, your mom’s cousin, or the neighbor’s dog. This list is the product of a complex algorithmic web, and sometimes it’s no big deal. But other times, it can knock the wind right out of you.

Kevin Kantor got gut punched by People You May Know. In his performance at CUPSI (College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational) this year, the spoken word poet delivered heart-wrenching prosse about what it was like to see his rapist show up on his Facebook page. It is a heartbreaking performance, and Kantor pours his soul inside of it.

His piece brings up thoughts and questions we tend to dismiss when it comes to how we connect online. When social media becomes a battleground—from cyber-bullying and trolling to having to see your rapist appear on your Facebook—how do you escape? Can you ever, really?

Kantor decided to face his tormentors—Facebook and his rapist—and use the experience in his art. Here on stage in front of thousands, he expressed what it was like when he first saw the name appear on his page: “It felt like the closest to a crime scene I’ve ever been…”

Watch this fiercely heartfelt performance by Kevin Kantor: 

images via YouTube

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