Sigh. Here is your daily reminder that human beings can be really, really horrible. Charles C. Johnson (above), a former writer for the conservative Daily Caller and founder of GotNews, published what he claims sources told him is the real name of “Jackie,” the woman featured in Rolling Stone‘s controversial UVA rape article. On Friday, Rolling Stone kinda-sorta retracted the article citing “inconsistencies” in Jackie’s story. Johnson of course doesn’t care that while Jackie’s story allegedly contains inconsistencies (which should have been better reported and fact-checked by Rolling Stone), that does not mean she’s lying about being gang raped by a group of UVA fraternity members. (Rolling Stone edited their letter from the editor and removed the line about their trust in Jackie being “misplaced,” but failed to note the change.) Internet trolls are already ruthless in their treatment of women who have the courage to come forward with allegations of sexual assault; the very fact that Jackie’s story may be in question has made her an easy target for misogynists desperate to beat the drum that women frequently lie about being raped (they don’t). Like those repulsive menaces at 4chan, who are apparently planning on tracking down “Jackie” and releasing personal details about her life. Keep reading »
It was easy for some to dismiss the privacy concerns surrounding last month’s “Fappening” as the price of fame, as though winning an Oscar or being a Sports Illustrated cover model means you must expect and accept being hacked and having your nude photos posted on the internet. But the latest hacking scandal doesn’t play favorites. Last week, a 4Chan user posted that he had hacked a cache of NSFW photos send by SnapChat users and, true to his promise, posted approximately 90,000 photos and 9,000 videos this weekend, violating the privacy of tens of thousands of average people, many of whom are likely underage as SnapChat’s primary demographic is between the ages of 13 and 17. That means anyone busted downloading or sharing the images could be charged with trafficking in child pornography. Keep reading »
Trigger warning: rape
By now we’re all familiar with the infamous celebrity photo leak of 2014, aka “The Fappening,” as it’s been dubbed by the Internet. But what most people are less familiar with is the supposed “Ground Zero” site for the leak, AnonIB. And not only is AnonIB the Internet’s worst kept secret when it comes to vengeful nude picture leaks, but it appears to have a serious date rape problem as well. And no one is doing anything about it. Keep reading »
This weekend’s #CelebGate nude photo leak — also known as “The Fappening” — has gotten even more unsavory. Amongst the many hundreds of alleged celeb nude photos — stolen from personal smartphones and hard drives by hackers and then uploaded to 4chan and Reddit — are a handful of photos of gymnast McKayla Maroney, who, her rep confirmed, was underage at the time they were taken. That, according to Reddit administrators, constitutes child pornography; a post on the Reddit community r/TheFappening, which is where the bulk of the leaked photos have been posted and shared, says that the group’s moderators have been informed of Maroney’s underage status and that they’re urging members to no longer share those images, lest the entire community get banned. Keep reading »
Here’s what I’ve learned about men on the internet who are annoying at best and abusive at worst: They think they know the women they harass. They have access to our ideas and our creative output (i.e. writing, videos, etc.), to our faces, to basic information about us, to a few scant personal details, and from that they concoct for us fictional life stories, fictional personalities, and fictional motivations. It can be terrifying on this end of that interaction, because we don’t know who these men are at all, but they believe they know us and interact with us, talk with us, as if they do.
It’s worse for celebrities, because it’s not just compulsive internet commenters who do this — it’s everyone. We want to be able to relate to celebrities. So we take their movies, videos, music, writing, interviews, press releases, and Instagram and Twitter accounts, and we create a fiction about who they are, or who they would be if we knew them personally. To some extent, that fictional personality is something that they curate and cultivate in order both to create demand and to create distance. Keep reading »