Can and Should Perez Hilton Be Held Liable For Reposting Celebrities’ Private Photos Without Consent?
Over the holiday weekend, the news broke that celebrities’ password-protected accounts had been hacked and their private nude photos stolen. Actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Krysten Ritter were among those targeted. Allegedly, hackers sold the photos to someone who posted them on 4chan and Reddit. The nude images went viral. A section of Reddit calling itself “The Fappening” has been permitted to repost images, even though Reddit has condemned it. Gossip blogger Perez Hilton reposted some of the nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence though he later regretted that decision, first reposting censored versions of the photos and then taking them down altogether. Lawrence’s representatives have said that the actress intends to sue everyone responsible. Presumably, this includes everyone who disclosed her nude images without getting her consent. Can Lawrence (and any other individual whose sexual privacy has been egregiously invaded) sue Perez Hilton, the “Fappening” posters and anyone else who reposted her nude photos without her permission? And what about the First Amendment?