A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast called On The Media. It's a great little show that examines the medias roll in our daily life and also tries to hold the media responsible when it does dumb shit. I can totally get behind that.
A few weeks ago, while at work, I had this show playing in my earbuds and heard and interesting conversation with some guy named Hunter Moore. Moore is the person behind the website Is Anyone up?
If you've been living under a rock (like me) and haven't heard of the website yet, let me fill you in. The website is a tumblr account of various personal nudes that people have taken of themselves. The majority of these 'nudes' I suspect weren't meant to go beyond the person they were being sent to. Moore accepts peoples submissions, puts them on the website and for an added kick, he links you to their social media pages (facebook, twitter, myspace, etc). The site has been tagged as a sort of revenge site. Been jilted by that guy you thought really, and I mean really loved you? Send that personal picture he took of his dick for you to Is Anyone Up and, ahem, expose him for all to see. Fell for a girl, only to realize that she fell for you, your brother, your best-friend and cousin? Send that lovely picture of her twat that she sent you to the site and have your sweet revenge.
I heard the episode with Hunter Moore and made a note to check this out. The podcast was grilling him as to the legal and moral rights he had to do this. To be honest, I don't remember the podcast that well, or most of Moore's responses. I do remember he had a kind of flippant attitude about the whole thing, giving me the impression he didn't really have any guilt with his actions or thought about the long term implications this kind of website might have for the people whose pictures have been submitted to the website without there approval.
I've checked out the site, and while I see it as completely immoral and totally outlandish, I can't get enough. It's like that proverbial car crash - the one you just HAVE to check out. I wasted most of my vacation going through that damn website.
It really got me thinking about the moral responsibilities of people. My first thought is really this - if you are dumb enough to take a nude picture of yourself and send it off to some dude you don't really know, then yeah, you have to understand that the likelihood he is just going to delete the picture once you stop talking is pretty small. If you take a nude picture of yourself, its pretty stupid of you to think no one else except those you want to see it, will see it. From what I can see, most of the people that have been submitted to the website and Moore himself are in the 18 - 30 age set, most on the younger side. Who the heck thinks of the long term implications of snapping a picture of yourself in all your glory at that age? No one. You know why? Because you're fucking invincible. That's right, nothing can harm you, nothing can ruin your chances, you have the world on a string. It's not till you get a bit older and some of these mistakes come up to bite you in the ass do you suddenly take the time to think that yeah, maybe it wasn't a good idea to take that picture and send it tall the dudes in my intro to psychology class.
Then that brings me to Moore. Is he a psychopath or is he just a sick motherfucker who likes tits? Is he doing it for a laugh, completely unaware of how this can really mess up someones future or is he just filling a niche that people want? I hate to admit it, but I've been addicted to that stupid website for the last few days. Deep down are we all just savages?
Where it leads me to is this - if you take the picture and distribute the picture, then you have to take responsibility for where that picture could end up. Don't want to see your ass on a website that exposes you to everyone? Simple - don't take the stupid picture. As for Moore - well, part of me thinks he's a pig for doing this and part of me thinks that he's one smart dude. I'm your typical 30 something gal and I can't tear myself away from the site. I bet most of the people my age are the same way...
Be responsible, I suppose, be careful and most of all, be smart when looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror after a shower - keep the iPhone outta site.