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Starlink Brings Internet To Remote Tribe. They Get Hooked To Porn

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In the dense Amazon rainforest, which stretches for thousands of miles, lives an Indigenous, remote tribe that speaks its language, and has a different culture preserved for several millennia. However, a technological marvel has breached its isolated existence – Elon Musk’s revolutionary Starlink satellite internet service.

Yet, with this newfound connection comes a dilemma, echoing through the elders’ concerns and the tribe’s evolving dynamics.

The New York Times met the Marubos, the 2000-member tribe connected with the world through the internet for the first time. Billionaire Elon Musk’s Starlink provides internet to remote locations or areas that have had normal communications infrastructure disabled through low-Earth orbit satellites.

Internet services penetrated the jungles of the Amazon in September last year when the services were launched in Brazil.

“When it arrived, everyone was happy,” 73-year-old Tsainama Marubo told the New York. The internet brought clear benefits, like video chats with faraway loved ones and calls for help in emergencies. “But now, things have gotten worse,” she said.

“Young people have gotten lazy because of the internet,” she said. “They’re learning the ways of the white people.” And added, “But please don’t take our internet away.”

The tribe now faces a fundamental dilemma – The uses of the internet and its impact on their culture.

The youth are now hooked to their phones – They are chatting with friends, glued to screens, and accessing pornography and misinformation.

Speaking to the NYT, Alfredo Marubo, leader of a Marubo association of villages, has emerged as the tribe’s most vocal critic of the internet. He said He is most unsettled by the pornography. He said young men were sharing explicit videos in group chats, a stunning development for a culture that frowns on kissing in public. “We’re worried young people are going to want to try it,” he said of the graphic sex depicted in the videos. He said some leaders had told him they had already observed more aggressive sexual behaviour from young men.

While some parents are happy their children will not get an education, their concerns surrounding the cons of the internet remain.

The antennas were donated to the tribe by American Entrepreneur, Allyson Reneau.

The advent of the internet is seen as a positive too for the remote tribe, who were able to quickly contact authorities for help with emergencies, including potentially deadly snake bites.

A member of the tribe said a venomous snake bite can require swift rescue by helicopter. Before the internet, the Marubo used amateur radio, relaying a message between several villages to reach the authorities. The internet made such calls instantaneous. “It’s already saved lives,” he said.

Another member said the internet could give his people new autonomy. With it, they could communicate better, inform themselves, and tell their own stories.

 In the dense Amazon rainforest, which stretches for thousands of miles, lives an Indigenous, remote tribe that speaks its language, and has a different culture preserved for several millennia.    

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