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photos by Lara Shipley

A Collective Action Problem

April 2nd, 2007 · 1 Comment

Via Ann at Feministing comes this article on Canadian research on the (apparently growing?) phenomenon of young women being pressured to share racy images of themselves online. Presumably these are intended for private viewing, but often end up circulating on the Internet.

Obviously, this is incredibly sleazy behavior and a criminal breach of trust. But this is so obvious that one must assume the culprits are well enough aware of this, and just don’t care. So allow me to offer them a somewhat more crassly self-interested argument: Every time you pull shit like this, you (1) make it less likely that those of us who actually have a modicum of discretion will be able to interest our partners in fun with cameras, and (2) generally sap the reservoir of trust and goodwill that you yourself presumably want to exist in the future. Think of it by analogy to IP: Unless the creator of content can exert some control over it, the incentives for subsequent content creation are undermined. It’s not just really, really sleazy—it’s imprudent. So seriously, stop it.

Tags: Tech and Tech Policy



1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Brian Moore // Apr 2, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    My favorite line from the article:

    “Preliminary results from the research show so-called computer geeks are becoming the new schoolyard bullies.”

    Damn it, I’m always a too-early-adapter on the good trends.