Privacy is something that you will never compromise and any invasion can make your personal life devastated. In Australia, journalists claim that they feel "violated" by a sexist forum that has been posting personal images of women from the media industry without their consent and also lewd comments on those posts for more than a decade.
The forum includes pictures of more than 100 high-profile journalists and emerging reporters along with Australian actresses, female sports stars, and models. Photos of female journalists were collected from their social media accounts in which they can be seen during exercising or socializing with friends. The forum includes bizarre comments like "superb tits" and "[it's] about time they changed the camera angle to show some leg."
A sexist forum
Among all these images, most of which show fully clothed women, there are some topless images of one particular reporter which she took almost six years ago when she used to be in the modeling industry. ABC reporter Lily Mayers claimed that she discovered her bikini images on the sexist forum. Those pictures she first posted in her private Instagram account when she went for a holiday in Hawaii eight-years ago.
In May, another journalist Lily Cardis revealed on Twitter, "An Instagram account has been identified that is collecting personal videos and pictures of female journalists from their private Instagram accounts, then sharing them on youtube and forums along with objectifying and misogynistic comments."
She also mentioned that the discovery had been made by her friend Sarah who made a list of women journalists who were followed by the same Instagram account. Even though the account has been blocked by over 97 journalists, the uploads haven't stopped.
Privacy Should be Protected, No Matter What
There are five additional social media accounts and seven YouTube pages that have linked to the forum, said The Guardian. The connected YouTube pages also include videos, posted by the women on their social media accounts. One of these accounts has 25,000 subscribers and since 2010 it has attracted 20 million viewers.
According to one of the four current moderators of the site, the forum was created "to celebrate Australian celebs" not to show what they were wearing, and how they look. As per the report, it was also claimed that "We have rules within the site. Any nudity is age-restricted and very minimal. You can't control what someone posts. People are there for different reasons."
As per Mayers, these people behind the forum may have not done anything wrong but morally "it leaves you feeling violated." However, the admin of the forum told The Guardian Australia that "anyone who has ever contacted us asking for pictures to be removed has been indulged ... I think we are doing more than enough to protect everyone."
But Mayers revealed that this issue can take a very dangerous turn, as many of her colleagues had been stalked earlier and then filed a police complaint. A senior journalist at Network 10, Antoinette Lattouf who also found her personal images on the forum, received death threats and vicious trolling. Lattouf said she makes a conscious effort to ensure that nothing posted is "incriminating and that it will be used against me and my kids".