Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: BERNARD TRAFFORD

HERE'S an announcement to put everyone's mind at rest. No nude or even saucy pictures of the Traffords will appear on the Internet, let alone on Facebook or splashed across the media.

No, really. For a start, we don't take such pictures! More to the point, if we did, we wouldn't be daft enough to upload them to the Cloud.

You may think I am, once again, stating the "bleedin' obvious". But the obviousness doesn't seem to have struck celebrities in whose lives or, rather, in whose physical attributes there's rather more public interest, particularly of a prurient nature.

A number of curvaceous Hollywood starlets, for example, were outraged back in August when naked pictures of them appeared on the web, apparently hacked from where they'd been safely stored in the Cloud.

Safely? Look, I don't understand how my phone and MacBook seem to share pictures between them, but they do. It means I never lose snaps: but I'm overwhelmed by the sheer volume.

I live with the fact that I'm not really in control of my photos. That's OK with me because I'm careful not to take pictures that might later embarrass me or lay me open to blackmail.

And I'm not in the public eye!

Apparently, though, those who are put themselves at risk nonetheless. They still Tweet compromising pictures and then complain when they go viral.

First actresses: next a Tory minister. Brooks Newmark (father of five) sent explicit photos of himself (including, as one paper put it, "a photograph of his genitals") to an undercover journalist posing as a model.

We teachers seem to spend our lives warning boys and girls against messaging explicit or compromising pictures of themselves even to their closest, most intimate friends: because, when they do, they lose control of them.

I just about remember being a teenager: I was as unwilling as any other to listen to advice. In this harsh modern world, when young people find themselves on the receiving end of cyber-bullying, with humiliating or obscene pictures circulating, irreparable damage is done. They emerge from the episode very much sadder, but a little wiser. …

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