Cyberbulling, cypersquatting, cybercrime. As technology evolves, our language and indeed policies concerning its rapid evolution struggle to keep up. Last week, in one of our lectures we tackled the fascinating realm of cyber-ethics. One case that comes to mind in relation to this new realm, is the one that is currently unfurling in UCD. A Facebook page was allegedly set up where approximately 200 agricultural students at the university could share naked pictures of girls they had received on their smartphones. The pictures were also rated and stories of conquests were swapped back and forth. The story, which originally appeared in an on campus newspaper, has yet to be verified, but it presents a troubling view of the alleged victims involved.
While people have been outraged at this hypothetical situation, it seems to me that once again, we are blaming the alleged victims involved. I lost count of the amount of times I heard “sure, they’ve only themselves to blame” being mentioned on the radio. The common consensus seems to be that although the majority of people have sympathy for these girls, they feel it is the girls’ own fault that they sent out potentially compromising pictures of themselves in the first place. A lot of these girls were in relationships at the time so why should they be punished for expressing their sexuality? I think that once again, it’s a case of double standards-something that never seems to change no matter how far technology advances.