The mysterious death of this porn star involves cyber-bullying, Donald Trump and homophobia

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The mysterious death of this porn star involves cyber-bullying, Donald Trump and homophobia

It’s… complicated

2017 has been a wild ride from start to finish, so it's only fitting that the death of 23-year-old pornographic actress August Ames on Tuesday would be tragic and crazy as hell.

According to a lot of tweets and some early reports, Ames's passing has a pretty convoluted backstory and a very controversial aftermath. I'm going to try to lay the allegations out in an orderly fashion — but this story is still developing so bear with me.

Two days before she passed away, August Ames stirred up Twitter with a post about refusing to work with another adult performer who'd previously done male-on-male scenes.

According to a report by Buzzfeed, she was quickly called out for perceived homophobia by both other actors in the porn industry and by members of the LGBTQ community. Detractors said that Ames was promoting homophobic stereotypes by implying that actors who'd done gay porn were more likely to be infected with HIV or other dangerous sexually transmitted infections.

Ames proceeded to double down on her argument, citing "testing protocol" and her own sexuality as reasons that her stance was not a discriminatory one, and her defenders asserted (correctly) that Ames ultimately had the right to choose who she worked with, i.e. had sexual contact with, no matter what her reasons were.

The backlash from her tweet, however, eventually escalated to a level that Twitter commentators are now calling cyberbullying.

Many of the particularly vicious tweets attacking Ames have since been deleted, but images that are apparently screenshots of abuse the porn star received have also been circulating since her death.

On Wednesday night, The Blast reported that the Ventura County coroner's office ruled Ames's cause of death was asphyxiation due to hanging. Based on this information, the current running theory is that August Ames committed suicide, which seems like an unconfirmed but logical conclusion.

But the internet seems to have drawn another, additional verdict from Ames's suicide, stating that it is directly correlated to the cyberbullying backlash from her initial tweet, and lashing out at the people they believe drove Ames to suicide.

Three figures have been implicated in leading the charge of so-called cyberbullying: male porn star Jaxton Wheeler and female porn stars Alexis Moore and Jessica Drake — the latter of whom is one of the sixteen women accusing Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.

Whether a correlation between Ames's recent patch of online controversy and her apparent death by suicide exists is still unconfirmed, but this whole story is a sad, complicated tale that's definitely worth keeping tabs on.

@k80way

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