Tuesday, May 23, 2006

So I've just discovered secretsnapper on Flickr, and I feel, well, dirty.

Dirty? His profile says "I take secret snaps on the London underground (ie Tube). Nothing sinister here, just photo's of people in public spaces." Nothing sinister? (Sorry, I realise I am asking rhetorical questions a lot today).

It's just that, say I scrolled through his photos and found one of me. Or my Mum. Or a friend. There's something pruriently voyeuristic about putting vaguely-sexual photos of people you don't know, online. Apart from the privacy issues. And he may feel they're not sinister, but I feel like what if some nutter's taking my photo on the train (or, more likely, my legs/ankles/behind). To use the most retro of language: he's objectifying women like page three of a newspaper. Which I don't have that much of a problem with, except these women don't have control over their image, and that I do have a problem with.

He says there's nothing sinister, but lots of the comments are, well, let's just say of a certain style. You can be sure that some (people) men are going there just to look at photos so they can. Mmm. You know. There's one photo of a girl sitting on a park bench with 2,000 hits. We all know that some men are probably doing that thing that some men do when they seek attractive photos online.

I don't want to get all frea speech (or frea image) about this, but I wonder if Flickr have a view. I know you can't have a minimum ethical standard on the internet, but I'm just, well. Wondering. Unsure.

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