Amazon tribe leader responds to claims they've become addicted to p*rnography after receiving internet access

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

The leader of an Amazon tribe who was reported to have become addicted to p*rn after receiving internet access has hit back at those claims.

As previously reported, the Marubo tribe, who reside along the Ituí River, were connected to the web for the first time, thanks to high-speed internet provided by Starlink's low-orbiting satellites.

Initially, the introduction was met with enthusiasm. "When it arrived, everyone was happy," 73-year-old Tsainama Marubo told The New York Times.

However, the elders soon began to notice troubling changes.


The report highlighted access to vital health information and the ability to video chat with loved ones as positives, but also mentioned negative impacts such as social media addiction and exposure to explicit content.

Marubo went on: “But now, things have gotten worse. Young people have gotten lazy because of the internet. They’re learning the ways of the white people.”

He described the community's struggle with issues familiar to many households worldwide: teens glued to phones, group chats filled with gossip, addictive social networks, online scams, misinformation, and minors watching pornography.

Alfredo Marubo, leader of a Marubo association of villages, voiced concerns that the tribe’s oral traditions and knowledge might be lost.


“Everyone is so connected that sometimes they don’t even talk to their own family,” he said.

The New York Times reported that Alfredo was particularly disturbed by the spread of explicit videos among young men, a significant shift for a culture that discourages public displays of affection.

“Elders are worried young people are going to want to try it,” Alfredo said, noting that some leaders had already observed more aggressive sexual behavior from young men.

Enoque Marubo, the 40-year-old Marubo leader who facilitated Starlink’s introduction to the tribe, vehemently opposed these claims in a scathing Instagram video on Sunday night.


“I am here to repudiate the fake news that has been circulating around the world in the last week, alleging that the entry of the internet into our communities has resulted in addiction to pornography,” he said.

“These statements are unfounded, false and only reflect a biased ideological current that disrespects our autonomy and identity.”

Enoque criticized the portrayal of the Marubo as a “showcase” for the world and emphasized their desire for autonomy.

“We want our autonomy and we are tired of the violation of our rights,” he stated. He expressed disappointment with The New York Times’ focus on negative aspects, which he argued led to a distorted and damaging view.

“I want to reiterate the repudiation [of] all these publications of unfounded lies that appeared on the internet,” he said, adding that the internet is “a very important tool” for the Marubo.

GettyImages-2153819128 (1).jpgThe tribe was given internet access by Elon Musk's Starlink. Credit: Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto/Getty

“Internet saves lives — that would be enough,” Enoque asserted. He highlighted its role in facilitating communication with distant relatives, assisting teachers, and enhancing territorial security.

He also condemned “non-Indigenous or white people” who attempt to dictate what is best for Indigenous communities, stating: “It hurts us, disrespects us, disrespects Indigenous peoples.”

Alfredo, who raised concerns about pornography in the original article, released a statement on Tuesday, acknowledging the misleading headlines’ potential for irreversible damage.

The New York Times defended its reporting, blaming other media outlets for sensationalizing its content. “No, a remote Amazon tribe did not get addicted to porn,” read a follow-up headline from the newspaper on Monday.

Featured image credit: Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto/Getty

Amazon tribe leader responds to claims they've become addicted to p*rnography after receiving internet access

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

The leader of an Amazon tribe who was reported to have become addicted to p*rn after receiving internet access has hit back at those claims.

As previously reported, the Marubo tribe, who reside along the Ituí River, were connected to the web for the first time, thanks to high-speed internet provided by Starlink's low-orbiting satellites.

Initially, the introduction was met with enthusiasm. "When it arrived, everyone was happy," 73-year-old Tsainama Marubo told The New York Times.

However, the elders soon began to notice troubling changes.


The report highlighted access to vital health information and the ability to video chat with loved ones as positives, but also mentioned negative impacts such as social media addiction and exposure to explicit content.

Marubo went on: “But now, things have gotten worse. Young people have gotten lazy because of the internet. They’re learning the ways of the white people.”

He described the community's struggle with issues familiar to many households worldwide: teens glued to phones, group chats filled with gossip, addictive social networks, online scams, misinformation, and minors watching pornography.

Alfredo Marubo, leader of a Marubo association of villages, voiced concerns that the tribe’s oral traditions and knowledge might be lost.


“Everyone is so connected that sometimes they don’t even talk to their own family,” he said.

The New York Times reported that Alfredo was particularly disturbed by the spread of explicit videos among young men, a significant shift for a culture that discourages public displays of affection.

“Elders are worried young people are going to want to try it,” Alfredo said, noting that some leaders had already observed more aggressive sexual behavior from young men.

Enoque Marubo, the 40-year-old Marubo leader who facilitated Starlink’s introduction to the tribe, vehemently opposed these claims in a scathing Instagram video on Sunday night.


“I am here to repudiate the fake news that has been circulating around the world in the last week, alleging that the entry of the internet into our communities has resulted in addiction to pornography,” he said.

“These statements are unfounded, false and only reflect a biased ideological current that disrespects our autonomy and identity.”

Enoque criticized the portrayal of the Marubo as a “showcase” for the world and emphasized their desire for autonomy.

“We want our autonomy and we are tired of the violation of our rights,” he stated. He expressed disappointment with The New York Times’ focus on negative aspects, which he argued led to a distorted and damaging view.

“I want to reiterate the repudiation [of] all these publications of unfounded lies that appeared on the internet,” he said, adding that the internet is “a very important tool” for the Marubo.

GettyImages-2153819128 (1).jpgThe tribe was given internet access by Elon Musk's Starlink. Credit: Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto/Getty

“Internet saves lives — that would be enough,” Enoque asserted. He highlighted its role in facilitating communication with distant relatives, assisting teachers, and enhancing territorial security.

He also condemned “non-Indigenous or white people” who attempt to dictate what is best for Indigenous communities, stating: “It hurts us, disrespects us, disrespects Indigenous peoples.”

Alfredo, who raised concerns about pornography in the original article, released a statement on Tuesday, acknowledging the misleading headlines’ potential for irreversible damage.

The New York Times defended its reporting, blaming other media outlets for sensationalizing its content. “No, a remote Amazon tribe did not get addicted to porn,” read a follow-up headline from the newspaper on Monday.

Featured image credit: Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto/Getty