When a celebrity’s private photos are leaked online, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that they only have themselves to blame, since they took the photo in the first place, but that’s a terrible way to look at things. The idea of “don’t take nude photos of yourself if you don’t want them online” both unnecessarily shames the victim of an actual crime — hacking and theft of personal property — and seems to give a pass to the actual criminals in question by leaving the hacker out of the question altogether. Remember, Christopher Chaney was sentenced in 2012 to 10 years in prison for stealing and posting photos of Scarlett Johansson. Ms. Johansson, of course, committed no crime by photographing herself. It’s just a shame that so many people need to be reminded of that.
Ricky Gervais was among those quick to admonish victims of the latest hacking scandal, tweeting: “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.” The almost immediate backlash to the tweet prompted Gervais to delete it and go on a campaign of clearing up his opinions on the matter. “Making a joke about a thing doesn’t mean you condone a thing,” he wrote.
Lena Dunham, on the other hand, took a more serious tone in standing up for the victims. “The ‘don’t take naked pics if you don’t want them online’ argument is the ‘she was wearing a short skirt’ of the web. Ugh,” she posted, adding, “The way in which you share your body must be a choice. Support these women and do not look at these pictures. Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not OK.”
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