Saturday 31 October 2020

Girls beware: Your public photos are up for grabs

UPDATED: Since this blog post was written the photos captioned with sexual comments have been removed

I just came across a Facebook page called Pretty Girls in Malta which describes itself like this:

This is a page to promote beautiful women resident in Malta. They can be foreign or nationals but must live in Malta. No nudity is permitted.

Sound harmless enough, right? After all everyone can appreciate beauty, right? Yes, of course, but the problem is that the person or people behind this page are lifting photos off girls’ Facebook profiles without their permission or knowledge, and posting them with such pervy comments as :

Age is just a number” (referring to a very young-looking girl)

Then you have the more blatant comments such as “Maltese sluts” and other derogatory descriptions, and a lot of talk about what they would like to do to the girls in the photo. That is apart from the more straightforward sexual references to their “ass” and “tits”, which are on full display in many of the photos.

One girl’s sexy photos was accompanied by: “First we get the talkin, then we get the touchingIf we get pass the phone games we’ll be f**kin”

Now, some may drag out the age old argument that the girls are “asking for it” for flaunting themselves on a such a public platform.  It is true that there were a few girls who seemed fine with it and who were even going along with the “joke”, thanking the page administrators “for making them famous”.

But most of the girls whose friends tagged them to point out that their photos had ended up being mis-used on this page, were very upset. Several have threatened go to the police.  One father angrily told the admins to remove the photo of his daughter.  At the time of writing, however, the page is still there along with the photos and comments. Countless reports have been made to FB but to no avail.

The craze among girls to pose for selfies with pouting lips while showing off their best assets may seem like just a little bit of fun to while away a boring afternoon, but as can be seen by this page, when these type of photos fall into the wrong hands, you no longer have any control of how your photo is going to be used, or what will be said about you.

So while I urge everyone to report this page to FB, I would also like to urge girls to be more sensible about what they publish online.  I could go into the reasons about why today’s young women (and indeed, all age groups) have such a need for flagrant exhibitionism, but it has all been said before.  Being called “hot” seems to be more attractive to women these days than being called pretty/lovely/beautiful, because it means you are sexually desirable.  (Of course, no one points out to them that this kind of desire is very fleeting, very superficial and very fickle, because there is always someone younger, sexier and hotter right around the corner. Just ask Hollywood actresses).

In any case, if they REALLY need to post very sexy photos, girls should at least have the foresight to change their photo settings to “private” so they will only be accessible to a limited number of people. Of course, that doesn’t really mean much, because even with privacy settings, photos can still be lifted by third parties –  once something’s online it’s basically in the public domain.

And, as many of these girls have come to realize, once your photo falls into the hands of someone like this, there is little you can do.



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