Naked pictures of myself…REALLY???


By Kenneth Justice

Oh my g-a-w-d KENNETH!!! That’s exactly what happened to me! I took naked selfies of myself to send to my husband and instead I accidentally posted them to Twitter and all my friends and family saw them!!!” she said

Unless you’ve been living in the desert near Syria for the past week you most likely have heard all about the celebrity scandal involving a hacker who broke into Apple’s iCloud and leaked out thousands of naked videos and pictures of A-list, B-list, C-list and celebrities we’ve never heard of before.

The 20-something friend I was talking to at coffee last week said she was totally “mortified” when she learned her naked photos were on Twitter for the whole world to see, “Within hours I found out about my mistake and I instantly took them down, but by then a ton of my friends and family had seen the photos” she said

The coffee house I hang out at has been buzzing with conversation about Internet privacy; what rights do we have when we use these App’s and Websites when it comes to storing our personal photos and data?

A friend of mine asked me yesterday, “Kenneth, what do you think, should it be a crime to view other people’s pictures that have been leaked onto the Internet?” And while that is a great question to ponder, I guess I’m still trying to catch up the 21st century; I had no idea how many people are texting, emailing, and file sharing naked photos of themselves! Not that there is anything wrong with two people in a loving relationship sharing naked photos; I guess I must be something of a caveman in that I never really realized how big a “thing” this is these days.

Western culture as we all know is filled with people who are voyeurs; reality shows have become our national pastime as they offer a glimpse (albeit an often contrived one) into the lives of people all over the world. There is something in our nature that yearns to understand other people and especially the other sex. We wonder if other people do the same things we do when they are behind closed doors. And I’m not merely talking about sex, but a part of our voyeuristic nature seems to be a desire to know the ins-and-outs of everything to do with everyday life and other people.

Fox television hoping to capitalize on this voyeuristic tendency is filming a group of people on a farm in California, 24 hours a day; hundreds of cameras film these men and women LIVE on the Internet and on the Fox network. These people are doing nothing more than what you would expect them to be doing; eating, working on the farm, hanging out at the watering hole, getting drunk, etc. It leaves me wondering; why would people want to watch other people….living out an otherwise ordinary day?

Philosophically I’m not really sure what instigates this voyeuristic tendency yet if we look at Western history we know it to be true going all the way back to the golden years of Hollywood when celebrity gossip magazines became a primary staple of people’s reading habits.

I think talking about our lives and comparing and contrasting them to others can be constructive; it helps us to grow and mature as we learn from others. I guess I just wonder where this voyeuristic element of Western society is going to take us. At the moment I’m not really sure.

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,


Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

32 replies

  1. “Unless you’ve been living in the desert near Syria for the past week you most likely have heard all about the celebrity scandal involving a hacker who broke into Apple’s iCloud and leaked out thousands of naked videos and pictures of A-list, B-list, C-list and celebrities we’ve never heard of before.”

    Yep. That’s me. And I like my desert!! 🙂

  2. Ah, reality television. I have a love/hate relationship. And I must be living in a Syrian desert because I missed all the hullabaloo with the naked pictures.

  3. the best cure for this naked picture stuff is to get old . . . my pit bull has a better chance of exciting a voyeur than I do.

  4. Nowadays, everything can be performed with smart phone. Accessing internet, taking pictures, listening music, blogging, and many other functions. Everything seems need to be instant. Somehow, I feel overwhelmed with this. In fact, my friends hard to find me at Facebook because I seldom enter. Most likely, I am suited to live on the mountain.

  5. Seems that these voyeuristic tendencies all come from a society who are basically insecure and lacking in self esteem. They worry too much – (not that they’ll admit it) – subconsciously they need to know they’re not alone (in their phobias). They want to see proof (that they’re ‘normal’).

    I even watched 2-3 ‘first’ episodes myself and found them so mind-numbingly boring, that I don’t think I’ve ever watched any more (peaks into the private lives of hand-picked bold, beautiful and not-so-beautiful extroverts).

    Give me a nature documentary or foreign film drama/mystery any day.

  6. Voyeurism is coming to your living room. Big Brother, Utopia anyone.
    But when it involves ourselves we get angry and cry privacy invasion. But we choose to be stupid and throw everything on there including their colour panties, but get mad over a naked picture being seen by many.
    It is privacy that is at stake, yet we like to keep it on the interweb as well and that is where we fail to comprehend that the internet is like a glass box.

    Voyeurism and taking picture is punishable by law.
    So is hacking if one gets Caught.
    Soon as a picture hits the internet is is viewable for everyone unless you put it in a box. Icloud or drop box or whatever. And even then it is your own responsibility to have the settings for explicit picture to private. If you fail to do that, tough luck.

    What is one the internet, even when send by phone, email and such stays on the internet.

    When will we learn, because we do go overboard with getting us out there like he celebrity we think we are. After all you only get seen if you leave an impression.
    And then this voyeurism turns in a narcissistic game of some sorts. Look at me I am in the open, which is what Facebook is playing at.

    When is showing of to be seen, a case of watched by a voyeur? That is the better question

  7. Lol, “caveman” 😛 It is sad we don’t get any privacy, even on our own personal clouds! Though the definition of icloud makes me wonder why one wouldn’t disconnect icloud before taking pics and sending them to your hubby or SO. Not sure how the police would be able to control who looks at leaked pictures that are uploaded to sites like reddit.

  8. Interesting points to ponder as I sit here sipping my own coffee. If I’d been proactive I’d have taken lots of naked selfies in my 20’s to keep on file and be leaked 20 years later. Darn, why didn’t I? Doing it now would just scare people unnecessarily.

  9. Interesting points to ponder as I sit here sipping my own coffee. If I’d been proactive, I’d have taken lots of naked selfies in my 20’s to keep on file for being leaked 20 years later. If I tried to do it now, I’d just scare people unnecessarily. (Sorry if this shows up twice. WP is being ornery with me today.)

  10. I was rather pleased when the celebrity photos got leaked because finally, a way to drive the privacy issue home so people at least start talking about the implications here. It’s challenging trying to talk to people about the importance of privacy in a voyeuristic culture where people want to so badly to be seen they post every intimate detail of their lives on the internet. For far too long people have been dismissing the issues as if you have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide. Privacy is not about hiding secrets at all, its about human dignity and respecting people’s humanity. Also, as we know from the naked pictures, people should be able to have some control over their data.

    That need to be seen and to be known, has to start happening on the ground more, in real life. The need human beings have to be recognized and valued is happening all over the internet, but it sure seems as if we’re losing in real life, in face to face contact.

  11. Agree with insanitybytes22. It’s not about if you have something to hide (or did something wrong). It’s about our inherent right and need for privacy.
    If you CHOOSE to put your information out there for the entire world to see, that’s one thing. If someone ELSE chooses for you, that’s something totally different. Your information should stay YOURS.

    • I agree to a point. While you should have the right to privacy, you also have to consider how you’ll feel if it’s violated. If I have expensive jewelry, I have the right to leave it on my nightstand. That won’t change the fact that it will disappear if someone breaks into my house, so I might choose to keep it in a hidden safe instead. Likewise, I have the right to take naked pictures of myself and place them on the cloud, but if I’d be particularly distressed if they were made public, I might choose to either not take the pictures or not store them someplace connected to the web. A violation might be someone else’s fault but you are still the one that has to live with the consequences. I think not enough people think about what they are doing before they do it.

  12. A sociologist once said something interesting: these days, our technology is advancing faster than our philosophies and ethics in use towards it.

  13. I lived in USA last few weeks. No Privacy! No Clouds are big enough to cover us up 😃 We care too much about others happiness, rather than our own problems.
    Double check before you Send!! 😉

  14. I think people allow too much of their lives to be automated. “Every picture I take on my phone is automatically backed up on the cloud” kind of thing. If I were inclined to take naked pictures of myself (which I’m not – see jjwalters’ comment above), I’d be more careful about where they ended up.

    I first heard about this from an article that was praising some celebrities’ responses to the ‘crisis’ while panning others for being insensitive and ‘victim blaming’. There’s a level of simplified thinking there that bothered me. One of the people whose response was being criticized had tweeted (in a joking/ironic tone): “Hey, celebrities! If you don’t want naked pictures of yourself stolen from your computer, don’t put naked pictures of yourself on your computer!” He was accused of victim blaming. He wasn’t blaming the victim. He was reminding them that while they may not be able to control who can hack into their computer or the cloud, they do have control over what those people will see if they succeed.

    It’s like telling people to wear their seatbelts. If you don’t, that doesn’t make the accident your fault, but it does make you at least slightly culpable in the severity of your injuries. There’s something you could have done to prevent some of the harm. Pedestrians may have the right-of-way at my place of business, making it not my fault if I get hit, but it’s still me getting squished if I step boldly out in the road. So, yeah, if you are going to take naked pictures of yourself, you need to consider how upset you’d be if someone stole them. If the risk isn’t worth whatever reward you see in having them, then don’t have them.

    And I don’t see how you could make looking at them criminal. How would a person who encounters a picture know whether it was stolen or not?

  15. Ah Kenneth, I’m afraid it’s not just Syrian deserts where the news didn’t penetrate. Small Welsh villages seem to have escaped this bombardment of news. Not that it would have interested me and certainly doesn’t surprise me in the least. We all know the dangers of information being hacked these days so putting that kind of temptation on the net is just a potential target. I’d advise keeping yourself well covered up unless you’re looking for some publicity and if not, make sure you share only with the intended person and don’t store it.

  16. To me, the issue is that we see people who happen to move in different social circles or from different cultural backgrounds has being different from ourselves. Yes cultural differences exist but ultimately, people are people and yet society can’t seem to overlook those differences and generally many become far too interested in something that really…shouldn’t be that interesting. Celebrities, at their core, are no different than the rest of us. Yes they have more money and therefore more access to do things the rest of us can’t, but their wants, needs, eccentricities, etc., are really not much different than the rest of us. Reality t.v. is a total fraud! Those so-called stories everyone is so interested in and love to follow is mostly fabricated, but again, people think they’re getting to watch real people be “real” a$$holes to each other so it’s interesting (which I could never understand that part because I personally can’t stand watching bad behavior of others – it’s infuriating, not to mention it’s bad role modeling for kids ugh). As for the naked photos, Jennifer Lawrence called it a “sex crime” and while I can kind of see her argument, isn’t she the one who made herself vulnerable to that? I’m sorry but I don’t have much sympathy in those situations because you know people hack, you know the Internet is vulnerable so WHY in the world would you post naked photos of yourself if you were only going to turn around and feel ashamed? If you don’t then, great. No harm done. If you do, well sorry but you did it to yourself. I don’t see it as a sex crime because that’s reserved for real crimes like rape, molestation, etc., when someone who didn’t make him/herself vulnerable was made so by someone else’s actions. Those photos…they posted it to the ‘net themselves so they did it to themselves because the entire situation would be avoided if they hadn’t. Until or unless there are laws protecting people from that kind of thing, you’re not safe. The only way to stay safe from that is to NOT post it on the ‘net. Period. The only time I would call something like that a sex crime is in the instance of the Stubbenville case – where those boys raped that girl, filmed it and then posted it all over the Internet. That was beyond sick! But there was an actual crime involved first AND she had no say in the matter. Lawrence and company did – those chose to take those photos and to post them so that’s on them. P.s. – since you’re no longer paying attention to my comments, I wonder what kind of shenanigans I could get into on here? Hmmm lol. 🙂

  17. I can’t help but wonder what the motivation was for sharing naked photos in the first place.

  18. I agree with mybrightspots. People need to choose seek out the information necessary to make wise choices. The internet is a very public space. The way iCloud works is no mystery, all that data is stored together in a remote location, not on one’s individual device. So people should take that into account when they decide what to upload to the cloud.

    We are all breaking new ground here with the internet and social media and there will undoubtedly be some missteps. We need to all take responsibility for choosing the best ways to use new technologies.

  19. The world wide web is exactly that. Anything can be shared on it. If you don’t want the world to see it, then don’t put it on the web. period.

  20. Good interesting post. People haven’t changed over the centuries, but society has changed. With the advent of technology, people are finding new ways to express themselves. It’s just that now there is a much broader audience and people are bolder to express themselves.

  21. Reminded me of The Truman Show

  22. I cannot imagine taking naked pictures of myself or anyone else, so I guess that pretty much relegates me to ‘caveman’ status. That said, I think that anyone with even the slightest knowledge of modern technology knows that there is no real security in Apple’s Cloud, or anyone elses Cloud. I keep the documents I want to keep safe in my safe deposit box at the bank. It’s cheap, and barring an apocalyptic disaster, I can be relatively assured that they will remain there until I need them. I would suggest all ‘ye’ takers of naked photos’ to store yours there as well, and not in the Cloud.

  23. Reality TV and the constant sexualizing of the lives of teenagers, the shows promoting all, or at least most, teens as drinking, doing drugs, and glorifying in bad behavior in programs and news is exactly why I got rid of the TV connection in our house about a decade ago. My three teens and I do not miss it at all.

  24. I’m not trusting enough to believe anything you post on the internet or text is truly private. I don’t trust my own tech skills to try and pull that off without eventually embarrassing myself. I just don’t get the thing with taking pictures of yourself and sending them to my hubby. I have no interests in viewing other people’s intimate photos. I didn’t think I was that “old and stuffy” but maybe I am. I just don’t get it.

  25. The more I hear about what is going on “out there” in “the culture,” the less I am inclined to participate. Not that I ever would have been into nude selfies, but really – life is short. Very short. Who cares? Self-absorbtion is boring in any form – reality TV, memoir, blogs, dinner table conversation. This is why I got rid of my TV 8 years ago and never looked back. I am amazed at the rapt attention many of my perfectly intelligent friends pay to celebrity gossip. I don’t even read many blogs – only scintillating ones like yours. 🙂 Thanks for the food for thought.

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