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Issue of the Day

Why the leaked nudes of Leslie Jones are a bigger deal than it seems


This morning "SNL" cast member and Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones woke up to pictures of her own naked body on her website.

leslie jones

We see you, racist trolls. (Giphy)

Hackers were able to gain access either to her iCloud or cell phone, as well as many of her passwords.

Then hackers posted a ton of private pictures, like her driver's license, passport -- and nude photographs, including ones that looked like she was in the middle of a sex act -- on her website. As well as a tribute to the Cincinnati Zoo's deceased gorilla Harambe. Connecting Jones, in a very racist way, to the primate.

The hacks have been taken down, and the FBI is now investigating. But, the story has been massively widespread and is spurring many debates about racism, privacy, online harassment and the sharing of nude pictures.

And the actress is also receiving tons of support online.

Jones, who is no stranger to online harassment, has been at the heart of the debate around hate speech online, especially on Twitter, this summer.

Earlier this summer Jones was repeatedly and viciously attacked online. Among other things, trolls called her a slew of racial slurs after Ghostbusters came out.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative writer with a massive online following, was the catalyst for many of these attacks when he criticized Jones and her role in the Ghostbusters' movie.

At the times Jones tweeted:

“Twitter, I understand you got free speech I get it. But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that. You can see on the…Profiles that some of these people are crazy sick. It’s not enough to freeze Acct. They should be reported.”

In response, Twitter banned Yiannopoulos, although many are arguing that the writer himself wasn't harassing Jones and didn't summon his followers to do so either -- and that what he did do is protected by free speech and wasn't hate speech. But others argue that his pointed criticisms of the comedian spurred his followers to launch a vicious hate campaign that Twitter hoped to eliminate like a snake -- by cutting off the head.

Revenge porn lawyer Marc Randazza as well as many others believe that had Yiannopoulos not been blocked from Twitter, this hack probably would not have happened. He said:

"This guy’s got millions of fans, so just do the numbers, man. All you need is one out of 10 million to have the motivation to do this. Now, I’ll bet there was one in 100,000 that had the motivation to do this … maybe one in 200,000 had the motivation and the ability.”

What do you think? How should hate speech be tackled and monitored on the internet?

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Why the leaked nudes of Leslie Jones are a bigger deal than it seems

Allison Hollender

Allison is originally from Fresno, California, but made her way to the beautiful Central Coast, where she is a student at UC Santa Cruz, earning a degree in both history and politics, working as a reporter for City on a Hill Press, and guzzling gallons of coffee. She is a lover of television and all things Amy Poehler. Follow her embarrassing attempts at jokes on Twitter @alleyrenee16.

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