As I’m sure everyone has heard by now, nude and explicit images of over 100 celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Victoria Justice and Kate Upton were illegally obtained by a hacker, and then released online. Sadly, many peoples reaction to hearing of this blatant crime and invasion of privacy is to pull up Google and start trying to track down these images.
Even worse, some marketers are attempting to use the leaked photos to draw in potential customers for ‘likes’ or growing their email list.
I think we should all slow down and really think about what is happening when we follow the crowd and search for these images. Protected by the anonymity of the Internet, you can hide in your basement and look at these images that were created in a private moment, never with the intention of being seen by millions of people. Yes, it is easy to do, but the question is, should you do it?
If this hacker ran up to your wife, girlfriend or daughter and ripped her clothes off in public, how would you feel? How would your loved one feel? And most importantly, what reaction would you want the people in the area to have? Should they stand there and stare? Should they take pictures? Or would you hope that they would try to cover her up (and stop the hacker in any way they can?).
The big difference here is that this is online, so we all feel entitled to be able to mentally molest these young ladies just because they made the mistake of taking nude or provocative images and store them online. This was a mistake, a huge error in judgment on their part, no doubt about it (cloud storage is never 100% secure). Saying that because they made this mistake, I get to actively seek out the pictures (and worse, profit from them), however, is a terrible reaction.
I see some parallels to the ‘slut shaming’ that some people engage in when a ‘scantily clad’ young women is raped by some pervert. The rapist is guilty and solely to blame for his perverted and disturbed actions no matter what his victim was wearing. We (the Internet community, and especially us marketers) would be solely to blame for seeking out these images of these young ladies. They are victims of a certain sort of sexual assault, and sadly, millions are engaging in and even promoting this injustice.
Let’s be better than this PMI readers. Join me in supporting the privacy rights of these young victims, and avoid these images at all costs.