Are Your Pictures Private?

Censored version of William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s The Birth of Venus from wikimedia commons

The internet is for sharing useful information, not invading one’s privacy and publishing it for the whole world to see. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to find out that I was hacked and that there were embarrassing photos pasted across the web.

On August 31, almost 200 private nude pictures were posted on the imageboard 4chan. The site quickly removed them, but it was too late. It was already being posted by users on websites and social networks such as Imgur, Reddit and Tumblr.

Some of the women who were affected were Jennifer Lawrence, Lea Michele, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Hope Solo, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Aubrey Plaza, Winona Ryder and other famous young women.

These poor women weren’t treated as the victims that they are, instead they were shamed for taking pictures on their private cell phones. No one should have to go through the pain of having their privacy violated.

This is not the first time that we have seen this transgression occur. In 1983, Vanessa L. Williams was the first black women crowned as Miss America. Penthouse, a men’s magazine founded by Bob Guccione, published naked pictures of her, and she was forced to give up her crown.

The act of revenge porn, nude photos and explicit videos being unleashed on the internet is not limited to only celebrities. While doing my research I came across an amazing report written by Allyson Pereira. She writes about her shame and deep, gnawing regret she felt.


In her article “One Woman Tells Us What It Really Feels Like When Your Nude Photos Leak Online” Pereira tells about her traumatic incident involving her shirtless pictures being shared by an ex.

The shame these women have to go through is wrong. They were not the ones purposely humiliating someone. I believe they were the victims of an invasion of privacy crime.

Some critics believe it was the female’s fault. John Randall Meneses, a 33 year old from Las Vegas, was behind “The Frappening” Reddit forum that posted hacked pictures of naked celebrities. Meneses believed that he did nothing wrong and openly commented that he was not the one taking or sending nude pictures.

Many people are opposed to this and agree with my thought that it was the men to blame. They were the ones actively committing hacking and personal privacy crimes. Jennifer Lawrence’s spokesperson said that authorities have been contacted and the people who posted the stolen photos will be prosecuted.

Since the incident there have been a number of companies changing their security. One of them include Apple, which is believed to have been the source of the hack.  The hackers allegedly obtained the images using account information from Apple’s iCloud.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. shares to the public that they will be adding additional security steps. These will include alerting users through email and push notifications when someone tries to change and account password.


Andrew Garfield, the Amazing Spider-Man star, also responds on the incident. He believes that it is violent, misogynistic and revolting. Garfield states that this is another example of what this distance has enabled us to do – it’s enabled us to be disassociated from each other.

The increase in security will only help until the hackers find another loophole. There should be court cases and investigations for all those who participated. Although there is no way for the pictures to be erased completely, the young women deserve justice.