Monday, September 6, 2010

Dude, My Private Parts Are Pictured Online!

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE gathered in Fairmount Park on Sunday for the Philly Naked Bike Ride, then stripped down to their birthday suits and rode bicycles through the city.

Just about everywhere they went, people took their pictures and shot video of them. A lot of those pictures and videos wound up online. Some even landed on news websites.

Are people allowed to shoot images and video and publish them online? Do the riders have any say in whether their naked asses wind up all over the Internet?

How should news outlets handle this story? Can they post images and video of people in various states of undress? If people are fully exposed, is it ethical for the news outlets to show them in all their naked glory?

Photo via Phrequency.

22 comments:

Kyia d said...

Well I believe that the news has every right to air this story and newspapers have every right to make someone else’s bare butt their front page story. The reason I think it is ok is because this people are out in the public. I think everything we do in the public is recorded, even if we think no one is present. Personally, I would never have ridden a bike naked but obviously these people are comfortable and do not care if they are being exposed.

Monica Miller said...

Newspapers and websites are absolutely allowed to posts those pictures since they were taken at a publicly organized event that these bike riders volunteered to take part in. It should be of no surprise to the participants of the Philly Naked Bike Ride that their pictures end up on the internet because the event was obviously going to draw a lot of media attention. It's not like these photographers are peering into the houses of random people and taking pictures of them as they come out of the shower. These riders chose to display themselves in a very public manner so I think they wouldn't even flinch if they saw their bare ass on the internet.

That being said, it's pretty obvious the videographer from www.nbcphiladadelphia.com was avoiding the nudity of the riders while still getting their point across and more established media websites will more than likely blur out the photos because they want to maintain credibility.

But honestly, censorship of nudity doesn't make any sense to me. We've all been naked before.

Will Fitch said...

The media has every right to post photos of these people, I mean, they obviously can't be too shy about being seen ...

It's safe to assume that a person in the nude, riding a bicycle around a crowded city is likely to be okay about being seen by even more people.

As far as the news outlets publishing the story, it's fine for them to post pictures as long as they are all the creatively well covered and more decent variety (i.e. handlebars conveniently covering the less PG-Rated content).

Jennifer Babu said...

The media should be able to post these images and report the stories, since it's a public event. If the people were willing to participate, they'd have to understand that this is something relevant to the community and therefore would be newsworthy.

I think it's tasteful of the media to take photos and shoot videos that won't reveal as much but still get the point across. Even though it's news, there are still people who would attack the media for showcasing nudity where their kids could see it. This way, the newspapers are safe from criticism from both those who would oppose nude photos and those who who attack the media for not covering the story.

Mark Longacre said...

If people are naked in public, they have to understand that someone can take a picture of them. Whether the person snipes the picture with a camera phone or takes it with an SLR, cameras are an important part of our culture today. People have to understand the consequences of their actions and make decisions accordingly.

Shannon H. said...

The media has every right to take pictures of these bike riders. Not only are these riders outside the comfort of their homes in their birthday suits but there are in a publicly solicited event where they know media coverage is taking place. Once they stepped out their homes in nothing more than the shoes on their feet, they should have known there would be a 85-90% chance their privates could end up on the front of someone's newspaper outlet.

On the other hand, even though the media has the "right" to take the pictures of the nude bike riders I strongly feel that they should publicize the pictures with the most "taste." I am sure that I don't want to see Tom, Dick, or Harry or even Sarah, Jessica, or Pam's privates on the front of my paper while I am trying to eat my Frosted Flakes. It is the newspaper outlet's job to report the story and yes, images are a plus, but taste and class play an important role in this instance as well.

Andrea Cicio said...

Those who participated in the Philly Naked Bike Ride accepted an open invitation to be photographed, written about, ostracized and/or glorified the very moment they sat their bare behinds on those bikes. The relationship a journalist has to his story can be likened, respectively, to a fish and bait. If the bait is enticing and tastes good, obviously, the metaphorical fish will be reeled in. Therefore, the unconventional bicyclists lured in writers and photographers hungry for a page turning story accompanied by the amusing, yet grotesque (depending on how the consumer views nudity) visual aids. And were they wrong? Absolutely not. They are fully entitled by the freedom of the press to publish whatever the hell they want. I feel the news outlets handled the coverage of this story perfectly. The job of a journalist is to give people the information they crave, while satisfying their first and foremost obligation to providing the truth. In my eyes, if the Philly NAKED Bike Ride was reported without emphasizing the nudity component, the journalist would not have done the story justice. If you were one of the individuals outraged by the appearance of your keister all across the world wide web, I highly suggest your next biking marathon take place in Alaska, where you'll be sure to wear an ankle length jacket and 18 scarves wrapped around your neck.

Charles Abankwa said...

When you participate in an event of this nature you know the risk of you being photographed and having your picture displayed. With that it is news worthy though it may not be in the best taste, but who is to say what is in best taste. Many things we watch and do everyday is not in the best of taste but we still do it. If you start to censor this type of news than who is to say that other controversial issues shouldn't be documented in the same manner; aborions, deaths, or violent acts. Also as journalists every situation is different and we have to look at the intent in which things are done, than judge if whether it is morally right or wrong to publish.

EMag said...

I understand how older people could become offended by photos of naked people being published in their local newspaper. I'll give them that much, however,it doesn't make any sense for those participants of the naked bike ride to become offended when finding their photos of their highly unphotogenic bodies on the internet. What did they expect!!!!!!??? Don't participate in the race. This event is just an excuse for bystanders to take pictures and post their naked bodies (not to mention our of shape naked bodies) on facebook and leave hilarious comments underneath. I'm actually offended that the participants of this bike ride are offended. Think about it people!!!!

Gina Marie said...

Of course it's ok for these pictures to be published online. They are the ones who wanted to go wearing their birthday suits out in public. If the people in the race really didn't want to be recognized they could have always worn a mask or covered their face (even though they were exposing the rest of their body) so that they wouldn't be recognized. I think it's definitely ok to have their pictures on the internet where people can chose to look at them if that's what they really want to subject their eyes to.

Geo said...

Anybody look at the images posted on Phrequency/ Philly.com? They are really graphic. And by graphic, I mean there are topless girls and guys exposed dangling parts.

Are you offended that they ran such images (even online)?

- George
(the teacher who got tired of seeing nakedness pretty quickly when scrolling through the images)

Alexis Wright-Whitley said...

I believe that once you publicly put yourself out there, you risk being exposed to greater lengths. I don't really think that the people could get upset with their nakedness being published, because they exposed themselves to those they rode by and with; so their "secret" parts were no longer really secret. The media definitely has the right to post this, because it's pretty much fair game. If you go out to a public event stark naked, you should expect media and the press to be out to cover the event.

Kadidja said...

Kadidja Nanakasse,

Once you have put yourself out there(nude) anyone can take your picture and post it anywhere facebook,blogs, and even here. You choose to run around with your bare backs showing so you should deal with the photos plastered all over the web,thats how i feel.

Matthew Albasi said...

Personally, if I was riding my bike through the city naked and no one took my picture I would be offended.

Alison Curran said...

if people are willing to parade around the city of philadelphia, wearing nothing and just riding a bike, why should there be any problem with people taking pictures and posting them online. as we can see from the photo that was posted on this website, their private area is pretty much blurred out and i can imagine that if the pictures were from behind that the photographer would blur that out as well. everyone has the right to a voice what they want but when you are riding a bicycle, around the city with nothing on i'm pretty sure that people are assuming that you gave up your right to a say on what should be done with the photos that were taken.

the news outlets should handle it just like this one was handled; post the photos but make sure that the private areas of the person are blurred out. the news outlets should be able to decide for themselves if it is ethical or not. just as most news outlets won't use profane language in their stories they can make the decision them self if they want to include pictures of naked people in their stories.

Ruth K said...

First, I think that anyone who is riding naked around Philly should expect people to take pictures and post those pictures.

Secondly, I think that reporters should have standards of modesty when posting images. It's in poor taste to show dangling parts in images. I don't want to see that and I sure as heck don't want my 10-year-old sister being scarred for life by seeing those images.

Ruth K said...

I just saw the photos on Phrequency.... gross...

Ali Watkins said...

Don't know if anyone's looked recently, but out of curiosity I checked Philly.com again to see if anything changed with the pictures. There aren't any "dangling" frontal photos of men anymore, and all the images of topless women contain very "disguised" breasts, like with paint and such. It's interesting, because I looked at them the day after the bike race and the pictures were extremely graphic. Maybe this time the media listened to it's "ethics meter". Does anyone know if they came under harsh criticism or something?

Ali Watkins said...

Don't know if anyone's looked recently, but out of curiosity I checked Philly.com again to see if anything changed with the pictures. There aren't any "dangling" frontal photos of men anymore, and all the images of topless women contain very "disguised" breasts, like with paint and such. It's interesting, because I looked at them the day after the bike race and the pictures were extremely graphic. Maybe this time the media listened to it's "ethics meter". Does anyone know if they came under harsh criticism or something?

Elizabeth Van Son said...

The news should handle this story just like any other public story. It's like a marathon except people don't have clothes on. It was a personal choice of those people who rode in that bike ride. I feel like if you can ride naked through the city of Philadelphia there shouldn't be problem with pictures of it on the internet. You've already shown everyone what you have so why would you be ashamed or angry with pictures/videos via media outlets? I don't think it's breaking any ethnic "laws." You chose to do this for a city of millions so why can't you be okay with the pictures streaming on the internet?

alexandra bristow said...

This is completely ethical. With the media of today people should know that the minute they walk out of the house "half clothed or not clothed at all" they are putting themselves at risk. If you plainly have the guts to ride your bike naked throughout the city of Philadeplhia why would having the picture published be any different? Why be ashamed then? The fact of the matter is the media has taken an extremely large turn over the years and questions of ethics and right and wrong have been ongoing debates. If the media knows they can get away with something and gain great exposure, they will do it. If youre going to ride a bike naked, be prepared for your photo in the next days paper.

jeanette vega said...

I do not believe anything is wrong with this picture. The event was very newsworthy and the picture is actually inspiring to me. As long as their private parts are not full blown and vivid, I believe it is fine to post a picture like this because the private parts are not very clear or too visible.These men look extremely happy to be participating in this event. I believe they would feel honored to have this picture in the news paper. Like I said before, you can't even really see their "junk" anyway.