You should know by now that about a hundred actresses have had their nude photographs hacked from private accounts and posted for the world to drool over. As is often the case in such incidents, the ethical instincts, or lack thereof, of various individuals have been exposed in the wake of the event:
Ethics Dunce: Perez Hilton.
No surprise here: Hilton, a web gossip columnist and a different species of hack than the ones at issue, showed himself to have dead ethics alarms. After eagerly posting the uncensored photos of Victoria Justice and Jennifer Lawrence on his celebrity gossip blog, Hilton was condemned far and wide on social media, so he first proved he didn’t get it by keeping up the photos but censoring the women’s naughty bits, and then taking them down entirely, explaining that “At work we often have to make quick decisions. I made a really bad one today and then made it worse. I feel awful and am truly sorry.”
He’s sorry that he is getting slammed, and he removed the photos because of the criticism, and only because of the criticism. How hard is it to figure out that just because someone has illegally made private photographs of women without their clothes on available, it is still a violation of their privacy to publish them? For an ethically inert slug like Hilton, very difficult, apparently. “I was rushed, and thus the obvious fact that what I was doing was horribly wrong never occurred to me,” is a self-indictment, not an excuse. And Hilton’s first reaction was to just blur some parts of the photos, making the actresses look like porn queen, until someone with a brain and a soul pointed out, “Uh, Paris? This doesn’t address the problem,” to which he responded, I assume, “Oh? Oh. OH!!!” and finally took them down. Finally, he posted a full, typically-Hilton juvenile apology, the gist of which was that “he didn’t stop to think.” If you have to stop to think not to do something that is horribly, obviously wrong, then you have deep ethics problems. But then we already knew that about Perez Hilton.
Ethics Hero: Lena Dunham
“Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay. Seriously, do not forget that the person who stole these pictures and leaked them is not a hacker: they’re a sex offender.”
Perfect. And true.
Don’t bother trying to explain it to Perez.
Fools: Critics of Ricky Gervais
Gervais, who is a comedian, tweeted,
…whereupon he was attacked far and wide for being “insensitive” and blaming the victims, by, among others, the afore-noted Lena Dunham, who sniffed: “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.”
Gervais, as I mentioned, is a comedian, and his statement should be taken as a joke, since literally everything he tweets is. When Sam Kineson, The Screaming Comedian, had some of these same critics rolling in the aisles with his satiric attack on sympathy porn fundraising ads by saying, “They keep asking us to give to helkp the starving people in Chad! Why the hell don’t the people in Chad move someplace WHERE THERE’S FOOD??? ARGGHHHH!!!” Gervais was making the same joke except that his has a nugget of truth in it (and isn’t as funny): tech experts have been cautioning users of cloud storage to be careful, and make sure their accounts were secure, or, in the alternative, to expect to be hacked.
Gervais didn’t apologize.
Good for him.
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Pointer and Facts: Althouse