The Real Victims of the Celebrity Nudes Leak

Katie Ward is a freshman media studies major
Katie Ward is a freshman media studies major

With the recent release of hundreds of revealing celebrity photos, there has been buzz over who’s to blame. After having their bodies made readily available to the world, celebrities received comments through the media that blames them for taking the photos in the first place, and for uploading it to their seemingly secure iCloud. Once it was discovered that each of these celebrities was targeted specifically, it is apparent that the only people to blame were the initial hackers and traders of these photos.

Let’s begin with the initial fact that everyone has the right to take photos of themselves, regardless of what they are wearing (or in this case, not wearing) or what their intention is with said photos. Many voices have claimed that since celebrities are always in the public eye, they should expect this sort of targeting through online attacks. When did celebrities become non-humans who do not have the right to privacy and a sense of security? They are followed around by persistent photographers who snap every mundane moment of their lives, and when they return home they take photos of themselves that are meant to stay hidden.

Some people disagree with this concept saying that the initial fault lies in the hands of the victims for possessing and saving the photos in the first place. Controversial comedian Ricky Gervais sided with the opinion that the celebrities held the majority of the blame and tweeted: “Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.” He promptly removed the tweet and apologized after receiving negative feedback from twitter users, and, most likely, his publicist.

Daily News columnist, S.E. Cupp, recently published her opinion online, in which she blatantly mocks all feminists who defend the celebrities: “Also things like feminism, which is invoked here for I’m not sure what reason, but presumably because the story involves women who are naked. And for some, that tenuous connection really is enough.” These responses are valid in some ways — for example, if someone does not want their credit card number stolen, then they should not have a credit card.

Stealing those moments of intimacy is the equivalent of breaking into someone’s home and stealing their most personal item. Why are we encouraging celebrities to change their comfort level with their own bodies instead of attempting to fix the problem: Internet perverts who reside in the dark recesses of the cyberspace? The vastness of this theft operation clearly proves that creep culture is prominent online, especially on counterculture websites such as 4chan and Reddit (the sources of the trading and release of the leak). If, as a society, we enforce the social belief that stealing is wrong, whether it is a pack of gum from 7-11 or a human being’s personal photos, we might be able to accomplish change. Furthermore, this could be a stepping stone in the promotion of positive sex culture. But maybe I’m just being an optimist.


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