Emma Watson Photo Leak: A Basic Violation

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It reads as just another piece of celebrity gossip news: private photos belonging to Emma Watson were stolen and put onto the internet, a spokesperson for the actress said. Variety reports that Watson plans to take legal action for the loss.

But something like this represents more than a little bit of gossip, or even intellectual theft. It demonstrates how, despite the connection many people feel to famous personas, there’s a disconnect that forgets they’re human.

Now clearly, stealing someone’s photos and putting them online is a selfishly motivated act. And it’s possible that someone who would do this to a celebrity would do it to anybody else if it was somehow profitable or attention-getting. But Watson’s photos getting stolen, as well as the 2014 “Celebgate” hack that led to several celebrities’ private nude photos getting posted online, demonstrate something in the culture that’s a little too permissive about this. There shouldn’t be a market for people’s private nudes or private pictures of any kind. It would be naïve to expect everyone to hold to that standard, but it should be a standard.

This is a violation of basic privacy.

It’s as though because these people are celebrities, they don’t have a right to private lives. I realize you give up a certain amount of privacy when you’re in the public eye, and that you have to put up with the paparazzi and the gossip for fame.

But famous people are still people. They still have feelings, family, disappointments and secrets. Just because someone is famous doesn’t mean they’ve given up every detail of themselves to the public. Speculation is one thing. Violation is another.

Watson’s spokesperson said the pictures were not nudes, but of Watson trying on different clothes in a fitting with a stylist. But it doesn’t matter if in the stolen photos Watson was fully clothed. It doesn’t even matter if that celebrity would post nude or semi nude photos somewhere else.  The theft and the leak are still violations of her privacy.

I'm a lover of words in all forms, sweatshirts in all conditions, and God in all circumstances. I particularly enjoy working collaboratively on the written word and wearing microfiber robes (preferably at the same time). Most of the time I don't get enough sleep, but I make a valiant effort.

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