No, I’m not going to link to any here, nor am I going to name anyone involved. I’ll explain why later.
This has been one of the biggest internet news stories in the past weeks (a quick search “nude celebrity pictures hack” yields 3,800,000 results), and has generated a ton of commentaries, many of them equating both the release and the viewing as a form of abuse.
Jessica Valenti in The Atlantic What’s Wrong With Checking Out Stolen Nude Photos of Celebrities The ethics of looking away
Even if we’re not the people who stole the pictures, and even if we’re not publishing them on blogs or tweeting them out, looking at naked photos of someone who doesn’t want us to goes beyond voyeurism; it’s abuse.
Lucy Hunter Johnston in the Independent UK “We have no right to see Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos. We do not own her body”
Celebrities do not exist purely for our entertainment and titillation. There is a difference between their life as they allow the public access to it, through interviews and shoots, and their real, personal, life. These images crash through that distinction.
The way in which we share our bodies must be a choice. Pictures of naked women must not become the latest meme to be shared and joked over. Do not be part of this abuse. Do not click on these pictures.
Van Badham in The Guardian “If you click on Jennifer Lawrence’s naked pictures, you’re perpetuating her abuse”
Actors may offer their image to public consumption as their professional practice, but what they are not trading is their intimacy. To merely look is an act of sexual violation…
Actors and other entertainers may certainly offer their image to public consumption as their professional practice, but what they are not trading is their intimacy.
There are suggestions that prosecution may result not only for the hacker of the photos, but for those who view and share them. Good. To excuse viewing the images just because they’re available is deplorable. It’s the equivalent of creepily hiding in a wardrobe because a conversation may be taking place you’d be interested, excited or turned on to overhear.
Of course there is the inevitable victim blaming.
If you want to take them, don’t put them on the cloud. Don’t leave them on your phone. Put them on an external hard drive, with massive password protection. Better yet, if you do not want people to see them, don’t take them.
A bit of advice that completely ignores the fact that these images were intended for a specific person.
I have a little something else to add to this mess. I think naming the people who have had their privacy violated in this hack has only perpetrated the problem. If I only read that 100 or more celebrities had their pictures exposed, I would need to go and dig to find out who was victimized. That is unless the individual agreed to be identified by speaking out as some have. Having a list of names gives me the ability to narrow down searches and focus on these individuals. Some of them, like Jennifer Lawrence, once named, made public statements. Without that original identification, even that would have been unnecessary.
So, I’m putting at least some of the blame on the news and gossip sites who have identified the women involved for increasing their exposure to this further victimization. Shut the fuck up already.