Something very subtle and dangerous is happening. Media authorities, in pursuit of a faceless, criminal, hacker have turned their attention to shaming the whole of internet culture over leaked images of nude celebrities on the internet as though they are the ones that hacked them. Because both progressive and conservative media don’t understand who or what 4Chan actually is, they are choosing to now paint anyone with a pair of eyes as data rapists out to quench their primordial sexual instincts at the cost of private illegally obtained pictures and videos. It’s happening on both sides of the political spectrum and it’s terrifying.
A columnist from the guardian proposed this exact kind of measure shortly after the massive leak:
“Actors and other entertainers may certainly offer their image to public consumption as their professional practice, but what they are not trading is their intimacy. There are suggestions that prosecution may result not only for the hacker of the photos, but for those who view and share them. Good.”
The prosecution of those that view images online.
We live in a time where everyone’s private data is compromised daily. People are well aware of the NSA program named Prism that listens in on their dirty phone chat or has access to their webcams broadcasting?intimate moments. The celebrity obsessed culture that produces the same curiosity over their nude bodies is run by a media complex more interested in Barack Obama’s tan suit than this massive invasion of privacy or war breaking out all over the world.
Yet no one notices these great offenses when it’s done to the public at large or people they ideologically agree with, or just happen to really like their movie. Why is Jennifer Lawrence’s private data any more important than say Donald Sterling, or Mitt Romney, or more importantly, yours or mine?
Here’s the thing, and the moral betters in the media at large are really going to hate this; People are going to look at the leaked pictures. There’s no grandiose explanation of a larger culture of sexism or war on women and “rape culture” at work here. People are going to look at the pictures because it’s a familiar face, they’re free and it’s one or two clicks. Real issues of sexual abuse however are more complicated than one image of breasts and can’t be explained in listicles or gifs. To contrast, currently in Rotherham, England, there is an actual culture of rape. But because that doesn’t involve the actress from The Hunger Games, the media ignores it. Who has less say in their rights being violated? An actress uploading nude pictures with technology they’re unfamiliar with or a child repeatedly and physically brutalized in unimaginable ways while the world at large ignores it because of political correctness?
A culture of celebrity obsession has been created through an infinite amount of media glorified selfies on websites and magazines, and then they shame the public at large when their itchy mouse finger steps out of bounds.
It doesn’t work that way.
People are going to look at the photographs out?of curiosity. Some out of sexual desire or fanaticism, on accident, on purpose, one time or several and it doesn’t make them moral monsters. They’re going to look at them because friends and co-workers are now talking about them. People are going to look at them on laptops, iPhones and tablets and with the rate that progressive culture is degenerating, they will probably be scribbling the images on cave walls by torch light in a couple years.
What’s happening in the UK is a horrendous atrocity of morality. Not a kid in a dorm room with a Reddit account and a crush on Kate Upton.
Viewing leaked pictures on the internet does not make someone a person devoid of ethics. Saving IP content, uploading it, sharing it and profiting from it however does, something websites like Buzzfeed have done in the past. Several times.
No amount of moral posturing and shaming from the left or the right is going to stop people’s curious eyes, no matter how hard they try to turn that person into the hacker or 4chan itself. Right now, a conservative battle against 4Chan is futile and pointless, because little to no one in conservative media understands what 4Chan is. 4Chan users don’t care if anyone is offended. They don’t care about religious objections, or moral sensitivities. They thrive on it and exploit it. They live to shock and grief. 4Chan does not play by popular media’s rules and the best way to describe it is by using a quote by Michael Cain’s Alfred from The Dark Knight in reference to The Joker:
“…some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
That’s 4Chan in as basic as a nutshell as I can give it without going into what mudkips are or what “Pool’s Closed” means. There will be a coming debate on whether or not 4Chan should or will be shut down altogether. Count on it. But the casual social media user is not 4Chan and they are not a hacker. They are for the most part, a normal human being, doing things like looking at pictures they shouldn’t be looking at or taking them.
Most people participated in “The Fappening” as it was tilted for the value of the internet meme, which is to say not much value other than a slight chuckle. I’ll happily leave the scolding of posting pictures Quagmire from Family Guy to others. Clicking on the Twitter hash tag doesn’t lead to an illegally obtained array of female nudity. It leads to reaction gifs, vines and memes. The media en masse is in no position to judge anyone and their moral relativism does not trump yours or mine.
These are the same people who happily rummaged through Sarah Palin’s garbage and raised no objection to a leaked, illegally created and obtained video of Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser talking about the 47%.
An illegal videotape that arguably decided a Presidential election.
There wasn’t a lot of moral chest thumping?when George W. Bush’s emails were hacked. Several web news publications ran to publish that information and images, without permission.
Twitter users posting humorous reaction vines won’t be profiting off any of any of this, but the people judging their behavior will.
The actresses and actors involved will book appearances on late night talk shows, all who will be fighting over and possibly offering up sums of money on who gets their appearances first. The networks will promote highest paid sponsors during peak prime time hours and drive extra revenue during later hours of the night.
Jon Stewart will probably destroy a few things.
Websites will embed clips from those shows, which will drive web traffic from Twitter and Facebook resulting in more?revenue. Paparazzi will take photographs of them and sell them to magazines like People and US Weekly for astronomical amounts of money, and people will buy those magazines, which will encourage them to keep buying those photographs. Journalists paid by the click will pontificate on the larger meaning of online security and objectification and lets face it, probably blame conservatives for it.
The actresses involved will almost certainly and rightfully file lawsuits against Apple and anyone else responsible and stand to benefit financially due to personal, professional and emotional damage. Jennifer Lawrence in a fairly short amount of time has rocketed to stardom with roles of brave, strong, independent women overcoming dark times and adversity. This will be no different.
These women (and men) are victims. Full stop. There is no dispute that a crime was committed unless new information is released. They deserve justice and the hacker deserves to be put in prison. But because there isn’t much argument about that, the moral elite at large decide they will find something else to argue about. That’s what drives revenue.
Taking it out on the people have committed no crime and who stand to gain nothing from any of it is wrong.