A few weeks ago, the Internet nearly exploded. The reason? A number of nude photographs featuring high profile celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lawrence were allegedly stolen from iCloud and leaked online.
Naturally, there was outrage.
Except, was it for the right reasons?
The morning after this "news" broke, I was inundated with information about this breach of privacy. Being a journalist in the technology sector, my Inbox was flooded with articles about digital security and I logged onto the CMS I use at work to see our partner sites had also sent us stories about the leaked content.
I won't say I was surprised at the amount of coverage I was seeing and quite frankly, I won't even say I'm surprised by the content of articles relating to the security breach - but, I will say: I was deeply disappointed.
As I logged into LinkedIn and merely glanced at the "Articles Recommended For You" section at the top of my news feed, I was disgusted to see content such as "How To Avoid Doing A Jennifer Lawrence" or "Five Things Celebrities Must Learn About Cyber Security."
ERRRR, NO. Just stop, stop right there.
In the event that some or even all of these women who have had their privacy invaded DID possess naked photographs of themselves, or even content depicting them performing sexual acts, THEY ARE NOT TO BLAME.
Let me say that again: this is not their fault.
How about we stop shaming women for their personal choices, especially when it comes to expressing their sexuality, and start pointing our fingers at the real issue here: the hackers who thought it was appropriate to go to great measures to access the personal files of these female celebrities.
I haven't seen any news stories called "Don't Be A Dick, Women's Bodies Aren't For Your Consumption" or "Hey, Don't Hack People, It Sucks" - no, all I've seen is digusting victim blaming content.
Women, men, any people of any gender, have the right to take sexual photographs of themselves. They also have the right to keep these images private. Just because a person may have chosen a career path that leaves them largely in the public eye, they still absolutely retain the right to have a private life. A life that is not for public consumption.
Rather than patronisingly explaining how the cloud works, how two-step verification works, or just outright saying things like "don't take those photos in the first place," I'd like to see people calling these hackers out instead. Some of the reactions I've seen so far are chillingly similar to "women shouldn't [drink/wear revealing clothes/whatever] if they don't want to get raped.
I'm all for locking my front door when I leave the house, I'm all for using passwords with uppercase and lowercase letters, multiple numbers and a few punctuation marks thrown in for good measure - but please, let's stop blaming the victims here.