If you’re trying to stay away from news about the 4Chan Celebrity Nude Photo Scandal, I applaud your efforts. They are fruitless, but I applaud them nonetheless. They are fruitless because everyone on the Internet has an opinion, and some opinions are appropriate and suitable for tweeting and some are not. For instance, Seth Rogen’s opinion echoes what many are saying, which is that hacking and posting private celebrity photos is the equivalent of thievery.
Posting pics hacked from someone's cell phone is really no different than selling stolen merchandise.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) August 31, 2014
Scott Mendelson over on Forbes elaborates, calling it essentially a sex crime. Appropriately, the FBI has been called in, Jennifer Lawrence is threatening to prosecute, and for once, most outlets on the Internet are more focused on tracking down the hacker than in posting the nude photos.
But then there is Ricky Gervais, and if you’ve read a comments section or Twitter over the last couple of days, you’ve no doubt seen this same idiotic train of thought delivered by many, who are under the f**ked up misconception that celebrities are entitled to no privacy whatsoever, even within the supposed security of their homes and phones.
After many on Twitter called him out for it, Gervais spent some time backtracking in a series of tweets that read:
‘Of course the hackers are 100 per cent to blame but you can still makes jokes about it. Jokes don’t portray your true serious feelings on a subject … It’s more important to spend your energy trying to stop actual bad things than to run around trying to stop jokes about bad things … This tweet does not condone anything’ … ‘Offence is the collateral damage of free speech.’
"Comedian in hot water" pic.twitter.com/BlohggXe6l— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 2, 2014
It’s true! You can still make jokes about it. That particular tweet did not have the ring of a joke. It had the ring of what every other contrarian asshole on the Internet has been saying, which is essentially that celebrities are not entitled to the same privileges that we are because they are famous and therefore the intimacies of their lives are essentially part of the public domain, like the works of Shakespeare.
Meanwhile, Apple is attempting to fix the problems with its iCloud service, which allowed hackers to download the nude images in the first place. I wouldn’t worry about the invasion of privacy too much, however, unless you’re a celebrity, or a woman, or anyone that has ever stored something within the cloud that you’d prefer the rest of the world not see.
Good luck with that!