Should celebrities expect to keep their nude photos private?
Don’t take it if you don’t want someone to see it
I’m sure most of you have heard all about the recent nude photo leaks of actress Jennifer Lawrence a few weeks ago.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened, and it certainly won’t be the last. Every time something of this nature takes place, people are very quick to either defend the victim of the hacking or to ridicule them.
I’m not here to do either. I just believe that the whole situation is easily avoidable.
First of all, I completely agree that the hacker is in the wrong. Obviously, anyone who deliberately exposes the private content of another person to the world without their consent is despicable. It’s an invasion of privacy, and they must be held accountable.
Jennifer Lawrence recently spoke out about the leaked photos, stating that it wasn’t a scandal, but a “sex crime.”
“I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body,” she told Vanity Fair. “It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting.”
I couldn’t agree with her more.
Yet, I would like to ask Lawrence if she ever thought that if she simply didn’t take the pictures in the first place, the hacker would have had nothing to leak.
Just don’t press “click.” It’s that simple. If you choose to take nude pictures of yourself, you must be aware that you are taking a risk. You have to realize that there is a chance they could go public, and if they do, you must be ready to take responsibility for your decision.
Some may argue that is the same as saying you should refrain from every phone or online messaging conversation you have if you don’t want it to go public. While this does have some truth to it, there is a difference. Not taking a picture is much easier to do than trying to guard every single word you say during a conversation.
It was not Lawrence’s fault her pictures were hacked and leaked, but she was the one who chose to take them. The hacker is to blame, but it is impossible to control every aspect of the Internet in order to completely prevent such people from accessing private files. It’s just not a realistic solution.
And with celebrities, there are more risks involved, as they have certain appearances to uphold. Celebrities have even more reason to refrain from taking racy photos than those who are not considered public figures.
It’s not fair, but it is the reality of the situation and a product of the fame they have acquired.
The only way to fully prevent nude photos from being leaked is to eliminate their existence, thus getting rid of all possible risk of exposure.
There will always be bad people out there who violate others’ privacy and take advantage of any opportunity to exploit them. It’s horrible, but true, and we have to accept that.
I feel for Lawrence, but in the end, she could have saved herself the embarrassment and mortification just by deciding not to take nude photos of herself. The hackers can not access what does not exist in the beginning.
Privacy boundaries not limited to nude photos
A few weeks ago, private photos of several female celebrities were hacked and subsequently leaked online.
Again, in the news this week, hundreds of thousands of photos sent via Snapchat were reportedly accessed by hackers with plans for release.
In the fallout from both of these hacks, it appears that, though the focus should be on internet security, more people are concerned about why the pictures were taken in the first place.
“But isn’t this her fault? If she hadn’t taken the photos in the first place, they wouldn’t have been hacked.”
Technically, you’re right, victim-blamers of the world, and it’s so like you to criticize what a person is wearing when they’re subjected to crime.
Hold onto that thought for a minute, though, because I want to talk privacy.
If Jennifer Lawrence didn’t want her naked body projected all over the Internet, she probably should not have taken consensual photos in the privacy of her own home with her significant other, right?
OK, sure, makes sense. But, wait a second, does that mean that I should pause before every photo I take and think, “Would I be OK if everyone with some free time and wi-fi had access to this?”
It’s not necessarily the content of the photos that’s important here (though that is significant). Posting private photos without permission is a gross violation of privacy. It’s the Internet equivalent of reading someone’s diary, at best.
Actions, words and photos can be fully appropriate in one context, but that does not mean that they’re going to pass as acceptable to others.
For example, a photo of my friends taken at a bar so we can laugh and reminisce about it later as a group is appropriate in that context. However, if I take a photo of my friends at a bar and mail hard copies to all of their grandparents, that crosses a line.
If a mother takes cute photos of her kid in the bathtub, does she have to refrain from saving that photo in the Cloud for fear that some perverted hacker will abuse those images?
Do we have a right to keep our images private, and is there any reasonable expectation of privacy when images are saved in the Cloud? Or have hackers taken that away from us?
Two consenting adults in the context of a committed, private relationship should be free to decide to take photos of each other. That choice may have consequences, (e.g. revenge porn), but is hacking a consequence or a crime?
The release of celebrity nude photos certainly will draw questions on content, but just because nude photos are taken does not mean they are pornographic and should be treated as such.
Those actresses took those photos in a context where they felt comfortable and secure, but taken out of context, the photos became inappropriate and subsequently disrespected.
The hackers may not have committed a “sex crime” because no physical assault took place, but anyone who looked at the photos was violating those actresses’ right to privacy.