don't clickSo the news broke this past weekend that some odious hacker apparently broke into the cloud storage of many female celebrities’ phones, downloaded private nude images of those women, and then posted all of the photos online for anyone to view.

The fallout has been swift and has led to many conversations within popular media about the limits of online security (it’s not that great), the ways we as a culture treat women (also not that great), and the chances of getting those images permanently removed (you guessed it – not great). 

And there were the inevitable (male) celebrities and talking heads saying that this wouldn’t have happened if the women in question hadn’t taken the photos in the first place. Which, technically, is true, but also skirts around the main issue: those photos were private; we, the public, don’t have a right to view them (Tweet This!). 

But the whole thing speaks to a larger issue that the pornification of our society has only emboldened: the concept that women are merely a bodily commodity to be consumed, not a created being to be honored like the rest of us. This is the logical extension of porn. Consume, consume, consume (Tweet This!). Bonus points if the body you’re consuming belongs to an Oscar winner. 

But, you know, you don’t have to click. 

You can hear a story about “leaked” (stolen, actually) nude photos and not click on a link to those photos.

You can get a sudden urge to seek out those images through Google and not click on the “search” button. 

You can receive a social media message from a friend that contains those images and not click on that message. (But please, do click on the “block” button, because that is not the kind of person you should be communicating with.)

Feeling empowered? Maybe now you can take your new not-clicking power a little farther and not click the next time a temptation for porn rears its ugly head. And then maybe you can not click the time after that. And then the time after that. 

And maybe you can not click enough times in a row where clicking becomes a distant memory and you get more accustomed to not clicking than to your old habits of clicking. Maybe each small instance of not-clicking can become a brick, and through multiple small moments you gather enough bricks to build a new foundation for the way you use the internet. 

Every small instance of not-clicking means something in the long run. So just remember: the link might be there, but you don’t have to click (Tweet This!). 

The power is yours.



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Creative Commons License
You Don’t Have to Click by Adam Palmer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at