Actress and model Bella Thorne is making headlines after choosing to release semi-nude photos of herself before some else does it for her.
She revealed that she made the decision after a hack that left her personal photos in the hands of someone who threatened to release them, writing on Twitter, “I can sleep tonight better knowing I took my power back.”
Whoopi Goldberg expressed little sympathy for the star on Monday’s episode of US chat show The View, effectively blaming Thorne for putting herself in a position to be hacked in the first place. “If you’re famous, I don’t care how old you are. You don’t take nude pictures of yourself,” she said.
Fellow panelist Sunny Hostin disagreed with Goldberg’s position. “It just saddens me that these kids have to go through this,” she said. “For someone to extort her or threaten her with posting these pictures, it’s terrible.”
But Goldberg doubled down. “Once you take that picture it goes into the cloud and it’s available to any hacker who wants it, and if you don’t know that in 2019 that this is an issue, I’m sorry. You don’t get to do that,” she said.
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Some viewers on Twitter disagreed with Goldberg’s opinion and spoke out in defence of Thorne:
She took control of the situation rather than letting the hacker hold it against her. Hackers always want $ and would hold it over her most likely. “These are my nude photos I have no shame in body nudity. This hacker has got nothing on me” #TheView
— TheViewFirst (@TheViewFirst1) June 17, 2019
I say way to go Bella, she is a strong independent woman and not afraid to stand up to adversity. She just earned my respect.
— Blandina Hottenstein (@lizabet17110) June 17, 2019
Whatever floats her boat. A great way stop some nutjob from profiting off of them. She should has pulled an Angelina Jolie and auctioned the off to the highest bidder....
— L D Woodroof (@DRoofwood) June 17, 2019
Others agreed with Goldberg that taking nude photos is risky business:
I'm with Whoopi on this one. It's 2019 and unless you've been living under a rock it's impossible not to know the dangers of sharing naked photos of yourself with anyone. Just don't do it.
— evelyncraymond (@evelyncraymond1) June 17, 2019
Don’t have nude photos of yourself in a place where they can be stolen (electronically) and you have nothing to worry about. Once it’s on the internet you can never get them back.
— Glenda Maria Davis (@Glenda_MariaDA) June 17, 2019
Life lesson;don't take nudes!
— Jennifer Ethridge❄️Ω (@jethridge71) June 17, 2019
This isn’t the first time hackers have targeted celebrities. Just last week, UK rock band Radiohead released hours of previously unheard audio from the recording of their seminal 1997 album OK Computer, after hackers demanded a ransom of $150,000.
Thom Yorke wrote of the 1.8gb collection, according to The Guardian, “It’s not v interesting. There’s a lot of it … as it’s out there it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on.” The band are donating the money raised by the release to climate change activists Extinction Rebellion.
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In 2014 a collection of almost 500 private pictures of various celebrities were disseminated online. Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jessica Brown Findlay, Kaley Cuoco, and Kirsten Dunst were shared on a number of image-hosting sites, after Apple’s iCloud system was hacked.
With reporting by Todd Garrin, Yahoo TV