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Hello readers! Without getting too self-referential and shit, this is my last dispatch from my outpost deep in the hinterlands of obscure internet* (there’s not much traffic, but the service is appalling!) (I’m so sorry). And instead of going my usual route of ‘irreverent take on a bizarre website’, today’s theme is going to be more ‘serious’ and ‘topical’. Your patience will be rewarded with a treat at the end though. Promise.
In the meantime: let’s talk about those hacks that happened last month. For those of you not clued in, a bunch of salacious photos of celebrities were disseminated by users of 4chan and reddit, having been taken illegally from their owner’s iCloud previously. Victims included Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. All were female. All were understandably distraught. It was a disgusting breach of their privacy and dignity, and there has been a ‘round 2’ in recent days, with threats of ‘You’re next’ targeting Emma Watson after she outed herself as being fundamentally opposed to misogyny and neckbeardism.
The leaks were widely condemned and then promptly forgot about – fortunately, most people are becoming inured to the fact that people get naked sometimes and that some people have pleasant-looking derrières and décolletages but That Doesn’t Give You The Right To Look At Them Without Permission Even If You’re Just Curious – except on reddit and 4chan, where people “didn’t sleep for 72 hours” in case there was another leak in what reddit charmingly titled “the fappening”.
4chan’s involvement should come as no surprise; it’s commonly considered the depths of the internet where morals go to die, and for good and obvious reasons. It’s reddit that’s the dark horse. It’s popular (I’ll bet that a bunch of you reading this are ‘redditors’, and are probably even decent-good people!), addictive and engaging. It is also run by asscockroaches.
In a way, reddit is the inverse of 4chan. The userbase of 4chan are awful while the people who run it aren’t totally terrible – posting pictures of the leak was immediately made a bannable offence that won’t make it past their photo-screening security, as is discussing it. The userbase of reddit is mostly alright. But its moderators? Only closed down the subreddit r/thefappening a week after the leaks first appeared. Was their reason that they didn’t want to be complicit in the denigration and objectification of female sexuality and non-consensual picture sharing?
Like fuck it was. The “workload of dealing with (the posts) had become too much”. Those with elephantine memories will note that this isn’t the first time this has happened. Two years ago, reddit refused to shut down r/creepshots, or a page dedicated to sharing posts of underage teenagers’ wardrobe malfunctions taken without their knowledge, on the basis of ‘free speech’.
So basically, this has been a PSA. While 4chan deserves all the flak it cops and more, redditors should stop acting like yo’ shit don’t stink. Lean a little bit closer and you’ll see what reprehensible perverted libertarian ideals really smell like. Ooh-ooh-ooh.
* Henry’s back next week though, don’t despair yet!