There are rare occasions when I actually feel like pulling out a pencil and paper (or my digital notepad), and writing a few paragraphs about something that I feel emotionally invested in or about.
A friend of mine posted a link to a reddit post yesterday, which featured a bunch of nude photos of celebrity women. I chose not to click on any of the photos, mostly because I like to live life without corrupting every last remaining minute.
It really got to me. And I ranted about it on twitter, and for the most part people were in agreement. But a few folks sent me the obligatory 'well, they shouldn't have put naked photos on the internet' type of messages.
I hope I can change their views within a few paragraphs.
Let's take a step back. Someone on the interwebs hacks a company's servers and finds all sorts of private things on it. Thousands upon thousands of files, most likely. And they snoop through said files in the hopes of finding something delicious. The moment arises, in the shape of a nude female figure, a celebrity in fact! Of course, they can't keep that information to themselves, no. Somehow these photos get 'leaked' online, to be shared, forever, with anyone who wants to see them.
The person gets his (or her) moment of glory! Everyone objectifies the women featured in the private photos, and thanks the hacker for their easy fap session.
But no one really thinks about the woman. Obviously, she made a mistake. She put her trust in a company, to keep her information safe. She assumed everything was okay. Maybe she was social engineered into giving out her info, along with several other celebs. (But that seems like a lot of hard work, and I like to think all those women have enough brains to know when something is shady). Or, maybe she just didn't know how to use the backup service, or forgot she signed up for it. Maybe it was a brute force attack. Who knows?? I certainly don't blame them. Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe they forgot their photos are still around! All of a sudden, probably without any hints, those private moments are now free and available to an epic fuck ton of humans across planet Earth.
Leave the celebrity bit behind for a second. Put yourself in her high heels. Men, I know it's a little hard to express any form of empathy for some, but take a moment and think about how that would impact your life. Maybe you wouldn't care, but would your wife? Your sister? Your children? Your boss? Would it embarrass you? Would you feel ashamed? Proud? Where is the humanity? What if that was your sister? Your wife?
Digging into a person's personal life such as this, doesn't just go away. Uncovering such personal information can destroy a person. Not just their career, or their relationship. It can eat away at them, year after year, never ending. People may meet them sometime in the future and constantly be reminded of the photo they saw on Reddit, or the tabloid where they read about a surgery or whatever it may be.
So, who do I blame? Well, I don't know who found a security flaw in an online cloud service, but exposing a bunch of women, objectifying them to a large degree, is not the way to fix an issue. Sure, it brings light to a bigger flaw, but victimizing lots of women based on getting a flaw fixed is NOT the way to do it. I'm sure that moment got a bunch of laughs from the person behind the attack, but I wonder if they'll still feel proud of themselves when one of those women loses her role in a movie, gets dumped, or (let's hope not) commits suicide (yes, people do kill themselves because they can't escape the pain of being bullied). Maybe she'll go to therapy? We won't know, because their strength and courage in front of a camera won't falter. THEY ARE ACTORS. I blame him/her for not directing their findings to the company who had the security flaw.
And I blame the company, even more so if they WERE notified. Had they fixed the issues, maybe photos wouldn't be leaked (or the pervert still could have, if they saved them all or still had access). I blame the company for making so many feel safe, when consumers (including celebrities) go along with what they are told.
I guess I'll just end this with a TLDR version:
Don't blame the women, they shouldn't be the story here. The story is some cloud service has been exposed as being insecure in yet another security breach, and someone decided to announce it in a rather shitty way.
Photos and lewd gossip spread like wildfire on the Internet. Once it's there, it's there. Do yourself a favor and DONT take part in the action because it makes you look like a jerk. DMCA notices are a very handy tool, and I hope these women take advantage of that, to hopefully remove some of the slander to their names. Eventually it'll die down, people will move on, but they'll still be reminded of it constantly.
Next time you see a tabloid in the grocery store, don't laugh at those that are being gossiped about. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. The results may astound you.
I turned off comments, because I hate trolls. However, please do some further reading here.
*I wrote this at 1am Sunday night. So if some exposure of how the breach was done has been publicized since then, I didn't mention it.