A Short Opinion on “The Right to Privacy”

When you enter a public sphere, you give up your right to privacy. This is true regardless of whether or not this public sphere is virtual or physical – when you post speech on the internet, you do not have a right to anonymity.

You do not give up your right to personal safety. If you receive threats, or harassment, you have the right to object to them and respond accordingly. Those same people who send you threats are also giving up their right to privacy, as they are participating through public communication.

My first immediate thought as an example would be men who send lewd pictures and messages to others via through Instagram to models. Many are retaliating by doxxing (leaking information regarding the person’s actual identity) to girlfriends and family of those people. This is entirely legal, and there is no expectation of the right to privacy of these men.

I clearly wholeheartedly support this, but I wanted to know your opinion! Feel free to comment.

Edit: This was initially written as an examination of this post and my thought process behind it. Phoenixcollective is the handle associated with my posts there. Roosh V is a self-identified neo masculinist who orchestrated a series of meetings to propose legalizing rape. Here is another post where I go into detail and cite the #hoodsoff movement as an example of which this response was used.


5 thoughts on “A Short Opinion on “The Right to Privacy”

  1. I’m going to have to separate my own feelings about Emily Sears and her actions from the larger, more important issues you’re engaging.

    My personal feeling is this: “Go Emily!” She didn’t ask for lewd photos, so the fact the men who sent them didn’t ask to be outed to loved ones seems satisfyingly fair. To be clear, I support her–I’ve got not problem with what she did (and I’m glad… perhaps the recent attention will make someone think twice before sending an unwanted photo to someone else).

    With that said, my thinky brain isn’t so clear on the larger issues of privacy when it comes to electronic communication (in all its forms).

    One could argue that sending messages or photos through direct messages isn’t entering the public sphere–it’s not the same as posting things on the internet (in a public forum, like on a blog freely accessible on the web).

    So, I guess my question is on the internet, what constitutes “the public sphere”? What is public–a public forum, sure, but what about a private, members only discussion board? DMs? Email? And, are there forms of electronic speech for which people should have a reasonable expectation of privacy? (Admittedly, I’m purposefully avoiding legality here — what is legal isn’t always what’s right.)

    (Also… sorry I’m longwinded.)


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