Everywhere it is aired, Big Brother draws more flak than any other reality show, said Peter Bazalgette in the London Observer. Ever since the show was first created, in the Netherlands in 1999, detractors have railed against it. Yet out of nearly 70 countries to air local versions, only one—Bahrain—has succeeded in banning the show. That’s because, thanks to the Internet, exhibitionism, once considered vulgar, is now acceptable. The format is simple: A group of strangers lives in a house together under constant camera surveillance, and conflicts ensue. Older people harrumph that such a display of private life is unseemly. But they are “out of touch with the moral perspective of a new generation.” The first 24-hour Webcam was launched back in 1996. Plenty of teens have come of age in a world where life is lived on video. “For a decade now, there has been a minority who want to be watched and a majority who want to watch them—and the more unmediated the better.” If you find that distressing, well, you’re probably over 30.
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