Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gawker is full of shit, continued

So awhile back I took Gawker to task for getting righteous about the publication of prurient pictures of women without their consent, when Gawker media itself has long profited off of the same thing. I didn't have a problem with outing the terrible, terrible Redditor ViolentAcrez as the proprietor of CreepShots. I did have a problem with Gawker doing it, as they (and their subsidiaries like Fleshbot) have hosted and linked to photos of nude or nearly nude women who did not consent to having those photos taken or published. The fact that the women in question are celebrities is irrelevant to me: celebrities do not give up their right to an expectation of privacy when it comes to their naked bodies. I'm not advocating legal restrictions on such photos, as I don't think that's enforceable. But I do think it's gross, and I think Gawker (and Adrian Chen specifically) is immensely hypocritical to be prosecuting that argument. (This opinion gave some New York big media types a sad, as Nick Denton and Gawker have paid or currently pay their rent.)

Well, yesterday, Gawker hosted a photo of Anne Hathaway's exposed genitals, a photo she certainly did not intend to be taken or published. And they got clicks and links out of it, which means they made money off of it. I won't link to that post, because I don't want to be part of that chain, but you can find it easily enough.

Today, Hathaway said exactly what needs to be said:

 "It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One, that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it.
And I'm sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants...."

And that's the point exactly:  Prurient photos of a private part of Anne Hathaway's body were taken. Gawker published them. They profited off of it, less than a year after outing somebody for doing the same. The only way this is not blatant hypocrisy is if you believe that being a celebrity means you have no expectation of privacy when it comes to your physical body. So is anybody going to pop up at Gawker Media and call out the boss? Will Jezebel take its usual wrathful self-righteousness and apply it to cleaning up its own house?

I doubt it!

Update: I'm informed that Gawker Media sold Fleshbot awhile back. That's my mistake and I apologize for it. Worth saying, though, that they definitely featured the kind of content I'm referring to while under Gawker's ownership, as the flagship site continues to do.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our entire media exploits and profits from suffering. Jesus christ, they use theme music when packaging mass murder for consumption, earning huge coin in the process. They are, obviously, vile human beings. Anne Hathaway's travails pale in comparison.

Anonymous said...

I long for a day when pictures of famous women's (voluntarily and publicly exposed) genitals are no longer considered a valued commodity, and women can no longer get more press by having such pics taken and being portrayed as victims when they're made public. It sounds like Gawker's crime wasn't exploiting Hathaway, but giving her more publicity.

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