Posted by: kelliroesch | November 26, 2012

Paparazzi culture –have we reached our limit yet?

Has European media has turned the corner on publishing paparazzi culture photos?  The Huffington Post reported on Nov. 24th that the editor of the Irish Daily Star resigned over his decision to post topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.  Editor Michael O’Kane drew the ire of the British Media who  agreed to not publish the controversial photos of the Duchess sunbathing topless at a private residence. Some have argued that celebrities and other well-known people have no expectation of privacy, even when they are in private locations. The Star wasn’t the only publisher, media in France, Ireland, and elsewhere also published the photos.  Interestingly the Star is owned by a British media mogul who threatened to shut down the paper after it ran the photos. American tabloid newspapers did not publish the Kate photos and perhaps the firing of O’Kane served as a wake up call for other editors who publish scintillating photos to sell papers.  

Today’s paparazzi culture may be what is driving other types of publication of inappropriate photos. “Creepshots”  and upskirts can be found everywhere online, not just in tabloid papers, and feature everyone, not just celebrities.  Teenage girls are also targeted and can be especially vulnerable to cyberbulies who take pride in embarrassing their victims. This type personal invasion affects women, even if they are unaware they’ve been victimized. Legally there is no expectation of privacy while in the public. What about the expectation of respect? Can’t we expect that?

Do you think the firing of the Editor signals a change in public perception of what’s appropriate?

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