How one human being can think it is acceptable to expose another in such a personal and vulnerable way, let alone repeat this act hundreds of times to many different people, is beyond me.
It makes no sense why people believe they have the right to invade someone's privacy in a way that is so violating and so irreversible. Yet, apparently, these people exist, because it has happened repeatedly this week, causing me to question not just my internet presence, but my faith in humanity.
The nude photo scandal, which began on Sunday and has continued this week, culminated in news today that actress and singer Jill Scott's personal photos were uploaded to Twitter and quickly went viral. Scott has confirmed that one of the two photos released is her and from her private albums. It is unclear, as of now, if the newly viral photos are coming from the same person or persons as the other hundreds of photos that have been released or if this is a new hack, potentially a copycat. Either way, it is despicable and the responsible parties should be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowable by law. Please let that day come soon.
As someone who writes about celebrities on a daily basis, I've given a lot of thought to the words I put out into the universe and the effect they may have on the people I write about. Not everything I say is positive, but I try to bring a level of awareness and professionalism to my work that respects those involved. This includes, most importantly, doing my best to state the truth accurately and without unnecessary judgment.
Releasing the photos of Scott is a violation of privacy, to be sure. But a further violation occurred over and over again as people tweeted their comments and retweeted the image. Degrading comments about Scott's body and the other celebrities who have been subjected to this breach were made with little regard to the fact that these people are human beings, not objects.
I'm not the only one to call these people out for their insensitive and despicable statements. Many women have tweeted their concern and have brought up some very valid points.
Pay attention to the difference between people's responses to Jill Scott and Jennifer Lawrence for the same violation.— Concepción Lara (@lowsell) September 3, 2014
jill scott is 42 years old, has fluctuated with weight damn near forever, is one of the greatest singer/writer/poets, & this disrespect tho?— 103° (@_ivajay) September 3, 2014
I'm wondering abt these dudes having the nerve to criticize Jill Scott's body - are y'all packing pecs and a six pack? Probably no. So STFU— Film Fatale (@FilmFatale_NYC) September 4, 2014
I'm watching all these younger men slander these Jill Scott pics. It's obvious they've never dealt with a woman post puberty.— Fee (@Feathersssss) September 4, 2014
If any good comes from this breach, hopefully, it will be that people think twice before they mindlessly post comments on social media and throughout the internet. The actions of the internet affect people just as much in the world outside of Instagram photos and Facebook status updates. The words you say and write have meaning that, because of the nature of the internet, is permanent.
I will definitely be taking this breach as a solemn reminder to think before I speak and take a moment to remember how my actions can affect others before I make a decision. I have not and will not look at the images posted of these celebrities without their permission and I highly encourage everyone to do the same.
This is very, very real and that doesn't change just because it's the internet. There is still accountability here (which gives me hope the people responsible for this breach will be caught) and we'd all do well not to forget it.
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