The plot of the story is mundane and somewhat banal. The guy signed up for a dating service, met a charming girl. Word by word, there has been a spiritual closeness, which presupposes a transition to another level of communication. Therefore, when the girl asked to demonstrate personal belongings, this clearly did not raise questions. In ancient times, this happened only in person, today you can get your phone, take a photo and immediately send it to another person. Which is what this guy did.
An amazing denouement of the story would be a situation when they met, fell in love and began a long relationship. Alas, such tales do not happen in our cruel age. At the other end of the dating service was a man who began to blackmail the hapless ladies’ man.
I don’t know if it was an intricate PR action to attract subscribers, or the guy found a win-win solution to the problem, but he agreed with the proposal and, moreover, warned his friends about it. This is usually the strongest position and knocks the weapon out of the hands of the blackmailer.
But first, let’s dwell on the event itself, when a person meets on the Internet and does not understand who is on the other end – a man, a woman, a child. Anonymity that can be created in a matter of minutes is a kind of temptation, you can become a completely different person without any effort. Someone mimics a successful businessman, someone creates the image of a socialite. We are somehow used to the fact that the image on the network and real life diverge in most cases.
Once I heard a story from a colleague in the market, Seryozha amused himself by creating several female images on dating services. According to him, it was entertainment, many men came to his profile, trying to get to know each other, to attract the attention of an “interesting girl.” According to him, every second person sent their intimate photos, he has never seen so many members as in these correspondences. To me, this whole story seemed painful from the outside – sitting for more than a year in chats, looking at photos that are sent to you, communicating, pretending to be a person of the opposite sex? What for? I didn’t get an answer to this question, and the phrase “this is just cool” seemed to me at least strange. Perhaps you can explain what’s so cool about that.
The privacy of modern life is a myth, and given that your whole life is concentrated in a smartphone or computer, the likelihood that, one way or another, photos, correspondence and everything else will become the property of other people is different from zero. There is no absolute protection, and it is not needed. When assessing the risks of a public profession, I once accepted all the attendant risks for myself. I imagined that one morning I turn on the TV (I open the Internet), and there they show me everywhere in an obscene form. And what should be my reaction? Yes, no. For some reason, it is believed that if someone posted a photo of a person in negligee, then this should hit him and his feelings.
For some, this can be a disaster, a feeling of shame. But by and large, nothing terrible happened, and interest in this topic will last for a day or two. It is clear that there are a number of professions for which such revelations look bad, for example, an official will clearly not be happy with his photo in bed with someone. On the other hand, you need to understand that soon the entire Internet will be flooded with fake photos and videos with the participation of any people and the quality of these fakes will be excellent. We can not only rewrite the history of mankind every day and create “evidence” of this, but also generate strawberries for every living person. The segment of fakes, called deep fake, allows you to create realistic images of people, which are difficult to distinguish from real ones.
As an example, I will cite a video in which President Nixon reports on the Apollo 11 disaster. In real life, this did not happen. Take a look at the site created for this event.
Look at a frame of a film about gays and lesbians in Chechnya (released on HBO), for security reasons all the faces of all the participants were replaced with others. Here exactly the same technology is used, in which the face was replaced by an arbitrary one, there is not a single chance to distinguish a fake from reality.
Remember the credits in feature films, where it is mentioned that all characters are fictional, and any coincidence with reality is accidental? When using such fakes, it is quite possible that some new face will coincide with the face of a real person who lives in Chechnya, and he will have many problems because of this. Such a measurement of technology is considered something unlikely, but it seems to me that this is already a real problem that is important and should be considered.
The appearance of counterfeits automatically resolves the issue of blackmail, in the coming years, fraudsters will try to cash in on the outgoing nature, and before the death of this kind of extortion, they will experience a small renaissance. But what’s the big deal? Who might be interested in this?
On the other hand, I look at the news feed on Lenta.ru and see a huge number of publications in which the news is that a star has posted a photo of herself in a swimsuit or transparent underwear. And this is clearly done due to the fact that the audience opens, comments – in a word, loves this format of publications.
Surprisingly, our society has a completely different attitude towards intimate photographs of men and women. This has always puzzled me. A photograph of a man is leaking somewhere, and usually the comments sound like this: “Well done man!”, “Show them, that’s how they need to be.” A photograph of a woman pops up, and the assessments are completely different, it all comes down to the banal “whore”. As a result, women more often become victims of extortionists, and this has acquired an unprecedented scale and is almost never talked about.
Everyone can have their own skeletons in the closet, but publicly available tools allow you to open some of these closets. A friend of mine told a funny story that shows how scammers are trying to make their business. About a year ago, a stranger wrote to her on Facebook, asking for a mail to which some documents could be sent. She was intrigued, gave the postal address. A letter came in the mail with a bunch of links to pictures, as well as an offer to pay so that my husband would never see them. The good quality photographs showed a girl who very much resembled my friend: a slightly different hairstyle, a slightly different physique, but for a stranger the resemblance was, if not absolute, then very noticeable.
What happened next? The husband immediately found out about everything, since the letter was instantly forwarded. There was no doubt that this was a different person. A statement to the police, long and dreary agreements with extortionists about a face-to-face meeting in order to transfer a large amount of money, and they wrote a receipt that they would never demand anything again. The guys turned out to be idiots, blinded by the opportunity for profit, and came to the meeting, received money, and at the same time problems with the law.
The scheme of their work was outrageously simple. They searched social networks for young mothers, assessed their ability to pay and then tried to find incriminating evidence, for this they used face comparison.
Today, these tools have been well adapted for political purposes, you can often see the face of a person holding a poster at a demonstration, and then that person in some intimate video. Works great to devalue everything that such a person tried to protect, and transfer this attitude to everything that surrounds him. The medium for the dissemination of information is all the same social networks.
Shame is a social norm, but it is impossible without the knowledge that something you have done will be discussed. This is the fear of bad word. It is not necessary that the person himself did something to evoke this feeling in himself, sometimes life circumstances turned out this way. One should not excuse himself from the prison and from the bag. And a person standing on the porch may feel ashamed of these circumstances of his life, and it is impossible to assume that he has rejected this feeling.
But what you definitely can’t do is follow the lead of those who are trying to blackmail you. Any negotiations with such people is a road to nowhere, and my position is always the same: do what you want, and then we’ll figure it out. About five years ago, some figures blackmailed me by putting my tax returns in the public domain. I didn’t even enter into any discussion, I offered to do it. After a week of unilateral threats, they carried out a terrible act. Absolutely real data that has leaked from somewhere. There was no reason for frustration or sadness, quite decent money, not a lot, but not a little either.
There were several stories when attempts at blackmail occurred in professional activities, this is especially evident in the external audit of the activities of another organization. They try to hide their shoals, and everything is used – flattery, bribery, blackmail. Sometimes separately, sometimes all together. But people who go for this have already lost, this is a desperate step that does not solve absolutely anything.
Alas, privacy today is a myth. You need to try to protect yourself and your data, this is digital hygiene and it is extremely important. For example, I find it a bad idea to sexting (this is exactly what we started with) with a stranger. This characterizes well both sides of this conversation. But familiar people can also inflame to you with completely different feelings, it is not for nothing that such a term appeared – “revenge porn”, when the former post photos of their halves in order to annoy them as much as possible. Surprisingly, most often men sin with this, that they do not paint them in any way.
Read the material on how to keep your smartphone safe at a basic level.
But there can be only one piece of advice at the end. Think with your head before doing something. And if something has happened, then do not create the tragedy of a lifetime out of it. Imagine that you are ninety years old, how will you feel in relation to this situation, how much will it concern you? This psychological trick always works flawlessly, life experience will tell you that in the future you will not be worried about the momentary, all this will go away like foam, despite the fact that here and now some question may be very acute.
Tell us about your attitude to sexting, blackmail, different perceptions of intimate photographs of men and women.
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