But that gift can turn into a curse when the intimate moment becomes less intimate—when a photograph is broadcast widely in the service of revenge, belittlement, objectification, or bragging rights.
Fortunately, that shame may solve itself—because we are all about to get naked on the Internet.
Even discounting sexts, nude images of ordinary people will soon be ubiquitous. Matt Haughey, founder of Meta Filter, recently got caught in this pervasive web of digital imagers.
There are just so many naked pictures of you to choose from. He has an Internet-connected Dropcam pulling security duty in his house, and one day he walked past it naked.
There are the ones that we’re starting to see already: images from webcams and home-security cameras that are either hacked or inadvertently broadcast to the Net. The camera captured its jaybirdly owner and uploaded it to the cloud.
The Dropcam then, helpfully, sent a notification to Haughey’s email that something had moved in his home. Haughey mused on his blog how easy it could be for someone to see his junk. Everything you feel, smell, and see is leaping onto the Internet, just as everything is becoming a camera. Perhaps your naked image is already on a neighbor’s Dropcam, which happened to see in your window as you walked past without any pants on.
Maybe it was caught by a Google Street View camera or in the reflection in a mirror pond as a drone zoomed over, filming in 4K. In the coming years, when you Google someone’s name, it won’t be shocking to see nude pictures interspersed among the results, no big deal: Linked In profile, professional society award, naked picture, Facebook Page (private), and so on.
We just have to stop caring about other people’s nudity.
And the wretched little shits who perpetrate them ought to be shunned, prosecuted, and imprisoned.
Yet we should also recognize that it is only the creeps who seek to distribute those photos, or access them once distributed, who have done something shameful.