Let's set the record straight on a few items before I get to the heart of the matter:

  • There is nothing inherently wrong with taking intimate pictures of yourself and/or other consenting adults
  • There are lots of things wrong with accessing accounts without permission and publishing the contents online
  • There is nothing wrong with publicly shaming the people who clearly didn't take proper security precautions

Now that that's out of the way, let's dive in to this click-bait'y title. Apparently if anyone makes fun of, criticizes, or speaks negatively at all about the lack of personal responsibility shown by the females targeted by the recent release of nude photos, it's called "slut-shaming." I wasn't aware this was a thing, but as I understand it, slut-shaming is effectively blaming the victim for what happened.

I understand how people might think we're out of line by "blaming the victim," but I think it's a valuable learning lesson and there's nothing wrong with pointing that out. Should a victim of robbery be blamed for having his home broken in to? Your immediate reaction is "of course not." But what if the homeowner was protecting a stable of Lamborghinis with a generic padlock? Surely there exists a responsibility on the part of the property owner to take security precautions on par with the value of the stored items? And if you're an attractive female celebrity, unfortunately your private life is extremely valuable and represents an attractive target for unscrupulous individuals. Therefore YES, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROTECTING YOUR PRIVATE STUFF.

No one is arguing that you shouldn't have a private life, or even that you shouldn't have albums full of nekkid selfies. What most are arguing is that you need to be smart about it.

  • Turn off the camera-upload feature in Dropbox or iCloud or whatever service you're using. That way the pictures, even if deleted from your phone, are not stored elsewhere.
  • As soon as you've taken the photos, remove them from your phone if you intend to keep them. Phones can be misplaced or stolen, email accounts and photo storage accounts can be hacked, but finding and hacking a personal computer protected behind a firewall, even a consumer grade product, will be comparatively more difficult.

Even taking these steps won't protect you 100%, however it will go a long way to making it more difficult for your private life to end up very, very public. If you don't know how to do both of those things and do not want pictures of you in your birthday suit showing up on the internet, then either don't take the pictures at all, or use a regular digital camera and not your phone.

The moral of the story? DON'T BE STUPID! If by pointing that out I'm "slut-shaming" the person whose intimate parts are now strewn across the web, then so be it.