Despite Biz Stone's optimism about the good things Twitter can accomplish in his new book Things a Little Bird Told Me, the reality of the site is that if you start a hashtag, you have a 50/50 chance of it being misused and abused, as is the case with #IfMyPhoneGotHacked. Let me take that back... it's more like 20/80. For a small number of people, that hashtag is a statement about their desire for privacy. For many many others, it's a chance to share the dick pics they've been dying for someone to find on their phone, missing the point completely.
Image: © Dave Bedrosian/Geisler-Fotopress/DPA/ZUMAPRESS.com
The hashtag is a response to the events of the weekend where countless people viewed and shared nude pictures of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, stolen from iCloud accounts. A tiny number of people are using #IfMyPhoneGotHacked to point out the violation that not only occurred for these celebrities, but the violations that keep occurring when women are objectified; nude photos stolen and traded without any regard for the very real human being on the other end of the picture.
Like a tiny number.
As in, I've seen a lot of penises today.
Can people do great things with Twitter? Of course. It's just a tool. But it's also a tool that highlights our hypocritical nature. Despite the snarky comments...
...And the radio stations asking what pictures people would see as if violating someone else is a game...
...I'd argue that we care about privacy. Of course we do. If we didn't, we wouldn't use passwords. We wouldn't need sites like Snapchat or Secret. We wouldn't need to approve friend requests. We wouldn't utilize anonymity on the Web either via pseudonyms or Tor.
But we're not open books.
All of our behaviour points towards most human beings on the Web creating boundaries that they don't want trespassed, whether it is the ability to obscure their identity by choosing an anonymous Twitter name to approving a connection before that person is privy to what you're sharing via social media.
Rather than debating whether these celebrities should have nude photos of themselves in a private account on Web or joking about what people will find if they looked in your iCloud account, take that hashtag to the place in should have gone: pointing out the humanity; that no one wants to be violated and that we're accountable when we don't speak up to protect a person's right to privacy.
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