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Should Viewing The Leaked Nude Celebrity Pictures Be Illegal?

It fappened again. Another wave of celebrity nude photos hit the internet almost a month after a huge leak dubbed “The Fappening.*”

After about a month of silence the photos began to trickle out on the same sites again. anonIB was the first place to see the leaks, however since a Disney starlet who’s underage had photos leaked the entire site shut down, and all users see is this message.



This latest batch included pictures from actresses Amber Heard, Gabrielle Union, and Audrey Plaza. Yet, two videos from actress Abigail Spencer were incredibly graphic and are the exact examples of why these leaks go beyond nude performance or even the infamous “nip-slips” that many celeb porn sites obsess over.

These images capture the actress in one of the most intimate ways possible and now it’s like she has millions of peeping Toms (and Tinas, certainly) leering in her bedroom window. It is, without question, morally wrong to seek out, view, or share these images. Yet, the question many are asking is should viewing or trading the pictures be illegal?

These images were meant to be private and their release is without question a crime. So the people who stole these images should be prosecuted. If someone had stolen physical photos and then given them to you, you could be charged with possessing stolen property.

Only, with the ease of sharing images on the internet, it is not inconceivable that people could stumble across these images without expressly seeking them out. It’s not even comparable to say possessing copies of stolen photos, because those would also have to be actively sought out and (one imagines) purchased.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.


*This is a portmanteau of “happening” and the term “fap,” which is a synonym for masturbation. Also there was a popularly-panned film called “The Happening,” and thus the genesis of the term for our less than internet-slang-literate readers.

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.