I’ve been thinking about the line between okay picture to share and not-okay picture. day I took down a pic of Freeman/Abbington kids but I also shared a video of Benedict Cumberbatch doing the Thriller at some kind of party. The video was obviously amateur, probably taken on somebody’s cell phones, and also included pictures of other people. Which got me wondering: why does it make sense (at least in retrospect) not to share private pictures of Martin Freeman’s children, but Benedict Cumberbatch’s friends are fair game?
I think the stars themselves are fair game because they knew fame was part of being a successful actor. They also benefit from it. There’s probably a line you can cross, but I’m not sure either of these pieces cross it, where the stars are concerned. Others may disagree, of course. But what bothers me is more the bystanders who didn’t choose to be famous but still have their lives broadcast.
And here I see two differences. First, Benedict’s friends are just anonymous friends. I wouldn’t now who they are from this video, so while I’m sure it can be a bit uncomfortable to see your dancing broadcast to the world, I’m not sure it’s invasion of privacy on the same scale. The other things is that Benedict’s friends chose to hang out with him, or if they’re just strangers at the same place, in the same kind of public space a movie + TV star would hang out. Kids don’t have that same awareness and they certainly didn’t choose to have their dad be so famous, so I don’t think they’ve chosen to give up a bit of their privacy in the same way.
Of course, maybe there is no difference here and I’m just drawing false distinctions to make myself feel better. Would be interested in what other people think. Where’s the ethical boundary between okay and not-okay sharing of amateur photos and video?