Students speak out on leaked celebrity selfies

In early September, hundreds of private celebrity photos were leaked and posted onto the 4chan website in an anonymous hack. Two celebrities who were among the first were Jennifer Lawrence and Ariana Grande, and the photos that were leaked ranged from semi-nude to entirely nude. In the following weeks, photos of more celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, were leaked.

The moment these photos were revealed, social media exploded. Tweets were posted that ranged from humor to disgust. Debates emerged of who to blame—the celebrities who took the photos? Or the not-yet-identified hacker who stole and shared very private information?

While it’s still unknown how the photos were found—4chan users say the celebrity’s iCloud accounts were hacked and Apple denies any breach of their systems—these questions lead to an even broader debate about the acceptability of nude photos in today’s society.

 The Horizon asked for the students’ response.

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I don’t have a problem with people taking nude photos. But when you put it on that storage, you’re taking a risk.”

— Jeremy Eiler, marketing and human resources senior

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I think people who aren’t celebrities send nudes and it’s not a big deal. So, celebrities should be able to do what they want. It’s freedom of expression, I guess.”

— Josie Gardwood, pre-nursing freshman

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I think that people should be very mindful of others’ property. People should also be aware of what’s on their phones. But mainly, they’re victims.”

— Jennifer Lynch, elementary education senior

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What people do in their private time is their private time, but when you have a smartphone, you have to know that whatever you do on there is on the internet. Once it’s on the internet, you can’t delete it.”

— Paul Garner, computer science junior

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It is absolutely atrocious that people felt the need to invade the privacy of celebrities like that. If a person wants to take a nude photo and send it to someone else, they should be able to do so in confidence.”

— Jessica Ison, biology junior

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I think if they want to do it, it’s their option. It has nothing to do with us.”

— Lisa Nguyen, accounting senior