Yet again, private pictures of a celebrity are circulating online, and yet again, we’re here to remind you not to look at them. According to Marie Claire, a hacker published half-naked pictures of Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams online. Maisie is the latest in a line of celebrities to have her privacy violated in this terrible way, but the fewer clicks those links to her pictures get, the less power those hackers have over her. So, don’t click!
Marie Claire reports hackers published photos of Maisie that are reportedly to be from a private Facebook or social media account. The pictures circulated on various sites like Reddit over the weekend. Even though it seems like many people have already seen the photos, this is a reminder that private images of someone without their consent is never okay, and neither is looking at them. She may be OK with sharing those images with her friends, but she definitely doesn’t owe the public access to those photos.
While the images are reportedly not sexually explicit, they apparently show a topless Maisie at a spa with friends, and while there’s nothing inherently sexual about breasts or nipples, the photos belonged to Maisie and she didn’t give permission for them to be distributed. If Maisie had posted these photos on a public social media account, there would be nothing wrong. But since someone stole these photos and distributed them, Maisie’s privacy has been violated.
While some may argue that the person in the pictures shouldn’t have taken them because they know there’s a risk of hackers, but honestly this argument is garbage. First of all, no one should have to expect that someone will re-publish naked or half-naked pictures without their consent. And second of all, that argument is victim blaming. Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer known for her defense of victims of revenge porn, demolished this argument in a single quote.
“Are you just supposed to never take your clothes off?” Carrie told the New Yorker. “You can’t get naked, you can’t take a shower? Are you never supposed to go out in public in a skirt? Or what about images where somebody’s face has been Photoshopped onto somebody else’s naked body? What’s getting distributed isn’t necessarily images that were consented to in the first place. That’s why it’s the distribution you have to focus on.”
Exactly. Maisie can take whatever type of pictures she wants, and it’s no one’s right to repost them. We saw the same thing when apparently Photoshopped photos of Justin Bieber hit the internet, and when Jennifer Lawrence’s photos were released.
Beyond it being a huge breach of privacy, posting someone’s private photos can have severe consequences. In some states, posting someone’s naked photos without their permission is against the law. It’s always illegal and can be considered distributing child pornography if the person in the photos is under 18. Posting the photos can also lead to bullying — and in some cases suicide — for the person in the pictures.
Posting someone’s private pictures without permission is wrong in every way, regardless of how much of their body is in the photo. And so is viewing them. There are just some photos that we only want to share with our close friends, and that’s something everyone can relate to.