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“The Fappening” and the obsession with celebrity

Though it may seem like there are new celebrity scandals on a near-daily basis, the “Fappening” — as it is being referred to on Reddit — takes the cake when it comes to controversy.

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By Ashley Hayes (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: September 10, 2014

Yes, we love celebrities — but they’re human beings too, and deserve to be treated that way. (Image: Gage Skidmore/ flickr)

Yes, we love celebrities — but they’re human beings too, and deserve to be treated that way. (Image: Gage Skidmore/ flickr)

Though it may seem like there are new celebrity scandals on a near-daily basis, the “Fappening” — as it is being referred to on Reddit — takes the cake when it comes to controversy. On August 31 an anonymous source released nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, among over a hundred other female celebrities. Since this scandal broke, there have been numerous theories about how the photos were accessed. First, Apple and the iCloud platform were accused of having a flaw in their security. Apple has said their security is fine, so the newest theory is a phishing scam, where fake emails under the guise of legitimate companies are sent out in the hopes that people will give out sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords. Regardless of how the pictures were accessed, the FBI has opened an investigation, and a debate about celebrities and privacy has been sparked.

It is not hard to understand why this scandal has taken over the internet. There is an obsession with celebrities. I admit it: I love reading TMZ every morning to see the latest in celebrity gossip. I’m not really sure why I enjoy knowing what is happening in the lives of people I’ve never met, but I know I’m not alone in my quest for gossip. But I do know that there is a difference in looking at paparazzi photos, Instagram, or Twitter feeds versus stolen, intimate photos of women who never anticipated their discovery. It is a blatant violation of their privacy, and it is all over the internet for the entire world to see. I am impressed with the many celebrities who have owned up to the authenticity of the photos, instead of hiding under the “that’s not me” statement. These women are indeed admitting they took nude photos for whatever purposes.

Why shouldn’t celebrities be able to take nudes just like the rest of us normal folk? Camera phones were invented for the sole purpose of naked selfies, weren’t they? As a celebrity, you have to expect that you will lose most of your privacy, but I don’t think anyone would expect their personal photos to be spread all over the internet (unless they were “accidentally” leaked on purpose). Celebrities have significant others, and with all the travel they do, I imagine they get lonely like any normal person would. If they want to send or receive private pictures, then they should be able to do so without worrying about the potential repercussions. The only thing celebrities with nudes on their phones should be worried about is a scorned lover using them for some sort of revenge — things all people should worry about after sending a sext.

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