(PHOTO CREDIT: MCT CAMPUS)
(PHOTO CREDIT: TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE)

It is like Hollywood saw the consequences all along. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal recently starred in the movie “Sex Tape,” which told the story of a husband and wife who accidentally uploaded their homemade sex movie to the “cloud” and shared it with all of their family and friends.

If Hollywood is already so hyper-aware of the consequences of uploading content to a remote server, shouldn’t those in Hollywood know better?

I would like to preface this argument with a note: I do not in any way shame the female celebrities who recently had photos hacked presumably from their iCloud accounts and shared on the underworld of the internet, 4Chan.

There is nothing wrong with taking nude photos of yourself, and in a consenting world between consenting adults, there is nothing wrong with sharing your body through the transmission of said nude photos or in any other manner.

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Celebrities, in all senses of the term, are not average people. They are targets. As Taylor Swift lamented in her most recent Rolling Stone cover story, she cannot walk around nude in her own house with the shades open for fear of a photographer snapping away. She is cognizant of the value attached to a “scandalized” photo of her. I never thought I would say it, but Taylor, you are a smart girl.

In a way, it is unfair the way celebrities have to guard their day-to-day life. Utter a wrong phrase and you are fodder on late afternoon cable news. Trip upon entering a vehicle, and your derriere is on the front page of tomorrow’s Post. Most celebrities, like it or not, have a permanent body-painted arrow streaked across their entire being.

I can already hear the choruses of, “Well that’s no different than telling a rape victim they had it coming because of the way they were dressed, you just can’t control your male gaze.”

Indeed, it is different. Not in the sense the focus should be shifted away from the perpetrator, and that this was, in fact, a terrible crime. But most if not all celebrities have chosen the life they lead. No one handed them a record contract or a movie deal on the street one day. They actively participated in their own fame. Like Swift well knows, compromising photos of them are of value. Given the reputation of the cloud and the internet in general as the Fort Knox of privacy and security (sarcasm), is there not a sliver of blame to be placed on these celebrities for placing these photographs on a server where they could undoubtedly be stolen?

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Lena Dunham is staring at me from the cover of Interview Magazine as I write this, and as the most outspoken Twitter celebrity proponent of Third Wave feminism, I feel her female gaze just leering at me. It is true though; you would not or should not leave a bag full of valuables in the front seat of an unlocked car in a crime-ridden neighborhood and be astounded if something went missing.

It is painful to acknowledge, but there are people out there who will at some point or another in our lives try to hurt us. That does not mean it is okay that people become victims of crime. But this overwhelming new ideology being propagated that people, especially women, cannot set themselves up for a crime completely takes away any aspect personal responsibility, and that is dangerous.

Do not get me wrong: I feel for these women. Their privacy has been violated in the worst way and like many others, I urge people to not seek out and view these photographs, as you become implicit in all of this, also violating these women.

However, if you take a nude photo of yourself, share it with others, or upload it to an unsecured place, you share a small portion of responsibility for where it turns up.

 

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2 comments

  1. I’m ashamed to be named the same as the other Jack. So many people forget that the dichotomy of innocence and guilt are only tools to justify ethicality. No one can ever be at fault in the sense of the word because that word implies COMPLETE responsibility. Everyone is responsible for one thing or another, but no one is at fault. With this system of blaming in place though, someone has to be assigned as the guilty one. Why can’t it be “don’t download photos onto devices with internet if you don’t want it to be hacked AND don’t hack?”
    Sure, it may not be optimal. If only everyone didn’t steal and no one did bad things right? But it’s suuuch a burden to be responsible. There are network security experts improving the technology everyday. And there are hackers working on those flaws trying to get your private information once in a while. They don’t bring their frustrations to an authority figure as to why security experts are so good or visa versa. But no, the user using the technology believes it’s a right. Just like Facebook Messenger app. It’s not Facebook’s fault for snooping phone information, if the people recognize their “rights” and decide not to use the app anymore, they won’t. Facebook will change their ways because the power lies in the individual. But no, everyone plays victim. Like their life depended on the idea of privacy or sex (gender). It’s easy, take responsibility.

  2. This logic is the same as saying “you chose to live in the ghetto, even if you lock your car (the equivalent of a password for an iCloud account), it’s partially your fault that you got your stuff stolen, because you chose to live somewhere where getting your car broken into is a possibility.” I agree that if you don’t take steps to protect your property and/or belongings, you’re an idiot, because there are bad people in the world that will do bad things, but that does not make it your fault if a crime DOES happen. It’s still the fault of the person perpetrating the crime.

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