The latest celebrity leak speaks volumes about where we are as a society.
By Henry Adeleye on October 2, 2014
Not too long after a crapload of celebrity nude photos leaked, there was a new story about a threat to leak famed Harry Potter star Emma Watson's pictures. This leak was a little different, however. It was a big, giant hoax. The "leak" originated from the underground chat site 4Chan. The leakers claimed that they had the nude pictures of Watson in their possession and would leak them on September 24th through the site, emmayouarenext.com. The suspense was so thick you could cut it with a straw (That made more sense in my head than it did after writing it. Oh well). Once the 24th hit, however, visitors were met with a message about shutting down 4Chan and fighting for women's rights to privacy, a great cause. Here's what we learned about ourselves through this whole ordeal:
1. We don't think celebrities are humans.
When these types of things happen to celebrities, it shows that we don't view them as normal people. We never stop to ask ourselves if the person being exploited here has feelings. Do they have family members who'd rather not have that image in their heads for the rest of their lives? Do they have significant others who may be a little weirded out by images they thought were for their eyes only being spread across the internet? If the pictures were of someone we knew, would we still pass them along? Those are the types of things we would think about if we viewed celebrities as actual human beings.
2. We like to capitalize off of people's misfortunes.
Though the leak seems like a legitimate attempt to fight for the rights of the victims of internet basement dwellers who have nothing better to do than cause people embarrassment and mayhem, at the end of the day, the group that put everything together is capitalizing off of the hype surrounding the previous leaks. They got a ton of exposure for their marketing site from the incident, and even bragged about the amount of social media traffic they received. So, sadly, what seems like something altruistic on the surface could very well have been just a publicity stunt.
3. We still have a ways to go in the fight for privacy.
The fact that emmayouarenext.com had 48 million visitors, 7 million Facebook shares and likes, and 3 million Twitter mentions shows that the number of people who were trying to find Emma Watson's nude pics was somewhere between "wow, that's a lot" and "damn, that's a whole f*** lot". Until we can actively stop giving in to the opportunities that are presented to embarrass people, we'll always fall short of where we need to be.
4. There is a glimmer of hope for society.
Despite the fact that the "leakers" may have been doing this all for self-fame, or that millions of people were dripping with glee to see the real nudes, or that Kim Kardashian is still relevant, there is a glimmer of hope through all of this that people are starting to stand up and speak out against those who seek to exploit women for their own personal gain. Just the fact that the site was made in the first place was a good start. Hopefully in the future, we can become better and more respectful as a society.