For those who don’t know, an anonymous internet hacker leaked over 100 photos of celebrities in the nude this week, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Ariana Grande, and many others. The incident is being called “The Fappening,” and has left internet users in shock and raised many questions about online privacy and the security of the iCloud system. But some people think the Fappening scandal raises much more serious issues beyond virtual safety.
An article posted at Forbes considers the Fappening nude photo leak much more than simply a scandal; it’s a sex crime. Forbes reminds us that the actresses and musicians involved in the Fappening did nothing illegal or even objectively wrong by sharing nude photos of themselves with spouses, boyfriends, or lovers. A scandal requires a person of fame or notoriety to have made a major unscrupulous taboo, or otherwise getting caught red-handed in some unlawful activity. The celebrities involved in the Fappening did not consent to the release of their photos, and many of them had no way of knowing their private photos were not safe.
“… the issue is that these women have the absolute right and privilege to put whatever they want on their cell phones with the expectation that said contents will remain private or exclusive to whomever is permitted to see them just like their male peers,” says Forbes. “The burden of moral guilt is on the people who stole said property and on those who chose to consume said stolen property for titillation and/or gratification.”
And the Fappening is, indeed, a crime. Many of the celebrities and their respective attorneys are looking for ways to prosecute the hackers and those who posted the nudes online. Jennifer Lawrence, one of the biggest victims of the Fappening, is calling for an investigation into the man (or men) behind the leak. According to The Washington Post, has contact authorities to track down and charge the person who stole her private photos. The Hunger Games star has not made a public statement so far, but her publicist, Liz Mahoney, said the following:
“This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
One major female celebrity who did not fall victim to the Fappening is speaking out against the leak. According to Dazed, Girls star and writer Lena Dunham has tweeted instructions for people not to view the stolen photos out of respect for the victims. She refers to the person who leaked the Fappening photos as a “sex offender.”
Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) September 1, 2014