For those of you that don’t know (but pretty much anyone who is reading this now already does but hey it fill some space, doesn’t it?) actress, YouTuber, and general all-around nice person Kat Dennings had her private nakedy naked photos leaked across the internet last week.
Now I’ll say this now: They were good photos. Kat Dennings is a very attractive person and seeing a very attractive person without clothing is a pretty cool thing most of the time. She looked good in these photos is what I’m trying to say here. But that’s not the point. However stupidly attractive she looked (and she did look stupidly attractive) the fact is that they are now available worldwide without her permission, and despite her lawyers going mad taking them down from wherever they’re hosted they will never truly be gone because that’s how the internet works.
But at someone (who?) said “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”, and as an INTERNET FRIEND of mine said “Do you think being betrayed by an ex releasing private pictures isn’t as bad when the online response is unanimously ‘amazing tits!’?” – there is a silver lining to this. Mostly. The best example of this I can give is myself who, up until yesterday, had only vaguely even heard of Kat Dennings. Yesterday I ran the full spectrum of thinking “I’m not really sure who this famous girl in the photos are but she’s mighty pretty” (and she did look mighty pretty), to thinking “Hey actually she seems like a really nice person.” to actually then feeling guilty about looking at the original pictures because of just how nice she comes across as, and I am now very much pro-Kat Dennings and look forward to her in Thor. But in a strange paradox if I hadn’t have looked at the pictures I would never have known that she’s so nice that I should never have looked at them in the first place. Got that? Good.
It’s just one of those scary reminders of the way the internet is now. Now it’s possible to take a photo of something and have it leaked across the other side of the world before you put your clothes on again. And that’s terrifying, not just to the reams of very annoyed celebrities, but of course of the real danger it poses to actual real people who don’t make the connection that as soon as you send a photo of something you don’t want on the internet, the internet is exactly the first place it will go. Thankfully, and this is where I can shoehorn in a Michelle Trachtenberg (who is still the best ever ever) mention, there are people trying to get the message across to the younger generation before they do something stupid. It makes me happy in so many different scary ways that it is possible to visit a website and for girls to take a VIDEO QUIZ with Michelle who tells them about the dangers of sexting. That’s awesome. Kat Dennings, take that quiz.
So basically what I’m saying is this: Leaked pictures, however amazingly good they are (and hers were amazingly good), are bad. They’re a scary invasion of privacy and if a celebrity wants to go all naked then they should do it when they want to, although if you’re planning to take a whole load of drugs and get worse looking, try and do it before then (I’m looking at you, Lohan). Also you might have noticed that I was focusing on the lovely Kat Dennings leaked pictures instead of the leaked also naked pictures of Jessica Alba that spewed forth at around the same time. The reason for this is that Kat Dennings is like nine times better than Jessica Alba. Silly!
Additional: How stupid of me to forget to mention that today is Life Day! I hope everyone has a happy life day and celebrates by doing a lot of cocaine and singing a song to the main theme of a major science fiction franchise. We ceeeeelebrate a day of peace…
The internet has become a strange place over the last few years. I’ve been using the internet for around 13 years now, and while that certainly doesn’t make me one of the old crew who were amazed at things like “colour” and “pictures” on the internet, it does provide me with a good view as to the way it’s been heading.
The first thing that was revolutionary about the internet, something that was widely talked about – and praised – was that you didn’t have to be yourself. The concept of minorities didn’t really exist on the internet, as everyone was the same. Obviously this anonymity was abused by many to pretend to be people they’re not, but for most people it allowed them to express their true selves in ways they couldn’t in the real world. I know it did with me, and I’m still using the same alias that I have been since I started – the divide between my “online life” and “real life” is a clear line, as I think it is with many people. And that’s a good thing in most cases.
Recently, however, it seems that line is being blurred, if not removed altogether. Thanks to the rise of social media, including places such as MySpace and Facebook, we’re now encouraged to put our real selves out there, and tell everyone who we are and what we look like. Which, frankly, I don’t want to do. It’s not because I’m scared or ashamed (mostly), it’s simply because it’s taking away one of the best features of the internet.
The latest in this trend, and possibly the tipping point as far as I’m concerned, is the latest version of Windows Live Messenger that was introduced with Windows Live Essentials 2011. Aside from bombarding you with messages telling you to turn on your webcam so that you can make your display picture a picture of your lovely face and messages begging you to link it up to Facebook because the new UI is basically worthless without it (it’s a terrible UI but thanlfully you can change it back to mostly the way it was mostly), the worst mistake is that you are now forced to use your own name as your contact name.
In every other version of Messenger you could set it to whatever you wanted, and while this did of course lead to really bad usernames >>><<<>>tHaT lOkEd LiKe ThIs 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!>>>>>>>><<<, it was great because you could be whatever you felt like being. Now you’re stuck to whatever your Windows Live profile name is, which for the majority will be their real name. Add to that the only way of changing what you appear as on the Messenger is to change that profile name, which also effects emails. Now, 99% of my contacts on Windows Live Messenger I could class as “online friends”, i.e. people who know me as “Tomtrek” instead of my real name. And I don’t want to use my real name with them, it would just feel wrong. It’s been that way for decades, why must this change now?
Microsoft give this ‘reason’:
“For some, the move away from a separate display name will be perceived as a loss of functionality. But this change, along with numerous other enhancements, will help curb abuse and scams on our network.”
People will ‘perceive’ this as a loss of functionality because it is a loss of functionality.
Why is it that everywhere on the internet must be told who and what we are. The large amount of sites that bed you to link them with Facebook, for example. Aside from something like putting Facebook on your phone, which I don’t mind as much as Facebook is for keeping in contact with your real-life friends in the same way your phone is, every other website wants to give me another way to tell me that my friend CAN’T WAIT FOR THE WEEKEND. If I want to use Facebook, I’ll use Facebook. If I want to talk to internet-friends on the internet, I’ll use a messenger. Facebook is for real life. The internet is not. I still want my anonymity, but more and more it seems that your entire online presence will be based on the contents of your Facebook profile. Why can’t they just let me be Tomtrek?