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Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked photos highlight feminism’s next frontier: cyberspace

2 September 2014

2 September 2014

Nobody wants naked photos of themselves leaked across the internet so a global network of creeps can beat off to them. But celebs and plebs alike are increasingly confronted by this unsavoury reality. Whether it’s anonymous hackers or enraged ex-boyfriends who post the images, the story is the same: women are being let down by their ignorance of the pitfalls of technology.

You should be able to take naked photos of yourself. But if you choose to store them using technology that isn’t secure and that you don’t quite understand, there’s every chance they will reach places you’d rather they didn’t.

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In the case of the latest leak, in which around 100 celebrities have been targeted, it’s obvious that the women involved believed that the technology they were using was secure. Apple’s iCloud does seem secure, after all. But when the stakes are high, the hackers raise their game. In this case, their methods worked: graphic images and videos have whizzed round the internet. They aren’t exactly hard to find (and, despite all the self-righteous posturing, people will be trying – men and women alike).

Rather than getting into a debate about the politics of revenge porn, it would be far more productive to address the real problem: many women are completely clueless about digital privacy and data. We are addicted to our smartphones and load them up with all sorts of sensitive information, but have no idea how they actually work. The ‘cloud’ sounds cute, cuddly and safe – a haven for your lovely memories. But ignorance of how the cloud works has done untold damage. Many of the women involved in the latest hack thought explicit images had been deleted from their phones. They weren’t aware that flaws in security left them undeleted elsewhere on the internet.

Knowledge is power – especially in cyberspace, which is full of nerds and weirdos who for many years were ostracised by society. They know how to code; they know how to hack. Some of them are making money in Silicon Valley; some of them are exacting cold revenge on society. It’s their way of getting back at the world and, in this case, at the sort of women who, if they met them in real life, would never give them a second glance.

Feminism’s next big step should be into the realms of technology. Girls must learn to protect themselves online by taking meticulous precautions against digital theft. We must beat the creeps at their own game. At the moment, our ignorance is playing into their sticky little hands.


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Show comments
  • Terry Field

    Feminism is consumerist, faux-rights generated, violent, sex-conflict, urban-warrior trivial utter garbage, and captures the minds of trivial small-brained half-aware inadequates who can only displace truth and invert real meaning.
    It is like a flat cocktail, drunk the next day for breakfast. Poisonously irrelevant, and out of time.
    In other words.

    Utter codswallop.
    Or more accurately Mammarywallop.

  • voidist

    in the world of ISIS , Ukrain …african genocide…..loney pensioners not
    having enough Money to eat….a possible brit-scot disaster…. wtf. do
    morons have to make this an issue ?
    think twice…are those actors really heart-broken…..?
    they are farting in thier Million Dollars beds while morons are pulling each others
    hair out over them

  • SexyIsntSexist

    Jennifer Lawrence and the fight against everyday cynicism (including feminist cynicism) http://dispatchesfromtheclaphamomnibus.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/a-battle-against-everyday-cynicism.html

  • Alfie

    “Nobody wants naked photos of themselves leaked across the internet so a global network of creeps can beat off to them.”

    Maybe some people do.

  • NotYouNotSure

    Stupid article, this is a privacy and security issue not feminisim, you think these Hollywood drama queens are the only people to have their accounts hacked ?

    For those that don’t know much about the cloud, its simply this: you are storing your stuff on someone else computer.

  • Mr Four Chang

    reddit.com/r/tumblrinaction

  • Mr_Ominous

    Feminists have already mobilised their fascist mob to silence dissent and debate that feminist don’t approve of.

  • AJH1968

    The perfect solution to the problem would be to paste naked pictures of the hackers themselves on the internet and expose their shortcoming’s.

  • Cymrugel

    Seems a bit daft to leave them on cloud in the first place.
    OK people should not look at private images, but I wouldn’t leave a file of sensitive information sitting on my desk with a postie on it saying “no peeking”.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Actresses are whores that learned how to harness the mass media.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    This is in the same league as garment malfunction. Accidental on purpose publicity.

  • Lina R

    If you don’t want naked pictures of yourself leaked over the tinterweb, then don’t take naked pictures of yourself. It’s quite simple.

  • http://atoryblog.blogspot.com Man in a Shed

    If your device connects to the internet then all bets are off. All you have to do is think logically, perhaps that would be feminism’s next big step?

  • LordJustin

    “At the moment, our ignorance is playing into their sticky little hands.”

    Actually, no. The problem is not frustrated little nerds wanting to feast their eyes on forbidden fruit. It is the egos of those who need to carry naked pictures in their electronic tag for flashing round in social groups and general ether-based relationship generation, rather than resorting to the time-honoured method of removing one’s clothes to show the real thing only to those chosen to enjoy the view.

    One day, people will say the virtual world is soooo 21st century, dahling! And, it can’t come soon enough for me.

  • paulthorgan

    I am at a loss as to how this piece got posted under The Spectator’s banner.

    It is far to general in its nature and is insulting to ‘geeks and nerds’, implying that they want revenge on society for some previous injustice.

    Prendergast should shuffle off to the New Statesman on the basis of this tripe.

    The person who edits the blogs should get a grip or get out.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF4_LKQdDF4 Freedom

      It’s a crass subject, true enough (as is the language of the first sentence: yuck). But if you think that the world doesn’t have a full complement of resentful, sour, malicious hackers, you are very naive indeed.

      • paulthorgan

        “But if you think that the world doesn’t have a full complement of resentful, sour, malicious hackers, you are very naive indeed.”

        This is irrelevant.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF4_LKQdDF4 Freedom

          Eh? If that’s a wind-up it’s not a very good one.

  • wycombewanderer

    Feminism’s next step should be into the world of technology

    Maybe better to start in Rotherham dont you think?

    • Liz

      It shouldn’t be up to feminists to deal with child rapists. That’s the job of the male police and politicians, and the male people who committed the crimes and their male friends and male family, and the male press might have said something earlier too.

      It’s men’s problem, it’s time men fixed it and stopped blaming their victims, feminists and their mummies.

      • Lo Bin Sun

        You’re off again, Liz

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF4_LKQdDF4 Freedom

        Glad to see you back in the saddle, Liz!

        • Wessex Man

          You fool, you are going to get such a tellng off now!

      • Wessex Man

        What in heavens name are you on? does the name Joyce Thacker not ring a bell in your tiny head?

  • David Prentice

    Really, Lara? Here’s the true face of feminism. Read and commit to memory. http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/mallorymillett/marxist-feminisms-ruined-lives/

  • Kaine

    Actually few techies have any problem getting laid. The multi-millionaires of Silicon Valley do ok for all the reasons multi-millionaires always have. Genuine hackers have that element of danger and rebellion that tends to go down well with suitors. Heck, even the mask-wearing members of Anonymous remark in a recent documentary “so many people hooked up at our protests”.

    Now you might have a predilection for a nice boy in red trousers Ms Prendergast, but your tastes are not universal.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

      Eye-roll.

  • Liz

    “Girls must learn to protect themselves online by taking meticulous precautions against digital theft.”

    Yes, because if there’s one thing better than the multibillion dollar, cutting edge server security of global tech giants Apple and Amazon, it’s girls using meticulous precautions against orchestrated breaches using phishing software (ie. not using the Internet).

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF4_LKQdDF4 Freedom

      Could you dumb that down just a tad so I can understand your point? If you don’t mind.

  • Liz

    “You should be able to take naked photos of yourself. ”

    Well that’s a turn up. In your last blog on revenge p*rn you said they shouldn’t.

    With every passing article you are inching closer to blaming the real culprits and causes.

  • Liz

    “Whether it’s anonymous hackers or enraged ex-boyfriends who post the images, the story is the same: women are being let down by their ignorance of the pitfalls of technology.”

    As opposed to be let down by sexist anonymous hackers, sexist enraged ex-boyfriends, sexist parliament, sexist legal system, sexist press, weird sexist quasi feminist bloggers?

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

      I think the answer is: Don’t take digital nude pictures of yourself — or allow anyone else to. It’s Self-Defence 101, really.

    • Kitty MLB

      Lizzie (you haven’t commented on yesterdays ,men and
      Jane Austen books yet-hope you do) most of these women
      are not fragile creatures from past generations they must
      know what they’re getting involved in..maybe if they were
      to see a nice man instead..not all men are sexist or weirdos
      not all women are ladies, or have common sense.

      • Liz

        It’s irrelevant whether they are ladies or fragile or not. We don’t judge the characters or tech ability of people who have their phones, emails or bank details hacked. This is no different. The guilt, stupidity, bad character lies entirely with the sexist hackers and their much larger contingent of sexist customers.

        Ps. You don’t have to be fragile to feel humiliated and violated by this. It is an entirely normal reaction.

        • Ahobz

          You live in an area where burglary is rife and you know this. You leave your door unlocked and you are burgled. Yes the burglar is to blame, but so are you, because protecting your assets from known risks is primarily your responsibility.

          You live in an area where burglary is rife, but you don’t knw htis because you never thought to find out. Yu leave your door opened and you are burgled. Yes the burglar is to blame, but so are you because you had the means of knowing your risk available and didn’t think to check. Protecting yourself from unknown risks invlves making some enquiry into the prevailing risks.

          • Liz

            Wow you’ve managed to combine the, woman’s body is property meme AND the victim blaming meme.

            A person can’t lock up their body, their s*x, their gender or their sexuality like they can a house. Locking up a woman’s sexuality means locking up the woman.

            Women shouldn’t have to live by different rules of conduct to men, that’s what’s known as discrimination. It’s called a civil rights issue.

            Where is this area where the violating and terrorising of women isn’t rife? Where’s the post code where they can let their guard down?

            • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF4_LKQdDF4 Freedom

              Women shouldn’t have to live by different rules of conduct to men

              No, they shouldn’t have to. But Nature doesn’t exactly help, does it?

    • Wessex Man

      Are they a very big poltical party?

  • Roger Hudson

    There are no nude photos of me online, i don’t pose for them.
    The basis of modern life :People in glass houses shouldn’t.

    • Liz

      Prude.

      I assume you don’t sleep with men, because if you did you’d know that posing for them isn’t a prerequisite to them being taken.

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

        Is everyone that doesn’t agree with you a ‘prude’, Liz (whatever that means)? Why not try to enlarge your intellectual armory? The world is too big for that kind of moon-june reductionism, these days.

        • Liz

          I forgot, smug too.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

            Smug, yeah, that’s not unlikely.

  • JimHHalpert

    Anybody following the Zoe Quinn affair? Just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder.

  • Liz

    Yes obviously the problem here is women, Lara.

  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    Good luck with that, femcunts.

    Looking forward to loads of more ‘leaked’ photos.

    Women love an audience.

    • Liz

      So do you freak bro.

      • Wessex Man

        get over yourself babe.

  • BarneyObongo

    Nobody wants naked photos of themselves leaked across the internet so a global network of creeps can beat off to them.

    Isn’t it interesting which sexual proclivities can be referred to pejoratively these days? Bugger or sodomise another man (or woman) or ‘take naked photos of yourself’ and you’re indulging in a perfectly natural pastime; but, practise a spot of onanism in front of a picture of a ‘sleb and you’re a ‘creep’. Interesting.

  • mohdanga

    And why should we care?

  • mohdanga

    Who is Jennifer Lawrence??

  • cambridgeelephant

    Got a link ?

    I’d like to see what JL looks like in the buff.

    • Liz

      Just hide in somebody’s cupboard and be done with it, rapey perve.

    • Wessex Man

      you mean you haven’t them out yet, come on you are letting the opressed half of the human race!

  • ManOfKent

    Whether it’s anonymous hackers or enraged ex-boyfriends who post the
    images, the story is the same: women are being let down by their
    ignorance of the pitfalls of technology.

    And of course men are totally immune to these phenomena?

    Before feminists start messing with technology (and there are already plenty of female hackers and IT experts) perhaps they should first learn not to be so self-obsessed with their gender and themselves as to realise that most of their problems apply to men as well.

    If feminists weren’t so self absorbed and as a result sexist to the point of sexual apartheid perhaps their lives would improve. That said I do suspect many of their problems are more due to delusions caused by neurosis and a lack of self-awareness. So professional help is probably required

    As an aid though perhaps Lara could try to repeat each sentence below out loud (preferably in front of a mixed gender audience) 100 times.

    MOST MEN ARE TECHNOLOGY ILLITERATE TOO.

    THEIR INTIMATE PHOTOS COULD APPEAR ON LINE AS WELL

    ITS NOT JUST ALL ABOUT WOMEN

    DON’T SAY WOMEN SAY PEOPLE

    It really is about time that feminists were rehabilitated into mainstream society in order that they may make a useful contribution to it!

    • Liz

      Now men are blaming women because men are being left out of unconsenting sexual violation followed by being blamed for it?

      Is this some kind of performance art? Whiney dudes finally disappear up their own arses?

      • ManOfKent

        Well only a woman could put herself unjustifiably at the centre of the argument yet again . The point is women do not have exclusivity to such abuse and hacking. Its a pity you clearly lack the intellect to understand that

        And just for information as it goes the only people who have their heads up their arses are people like you! Perhaps that’s why you are so precious about such photos? Such contortions would certainly cause some interest…….

    • Wessex Man

      Well whilst I mostly agree with your comments elsewhere, you are wrong here these Lasses have cheered me up for one!

      • ManOfKent

        Apologies Wessex but I really don’t get why or how ‘these Lasses’ have cheered you up and how that relates to this tedious episode 51,623 of ‘Sisters are (or should be) doing it”.

        That said I suppose there is a certain entertainment value in seeing feminists throw their toys out of their prams from time to time…..

  • Suzy61

    Where’s Liz?

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

      She turned up. As we all knew she would. I’m no more enlightened, though.

  • Suzy61

    Don’t want anyone else to see? Don’t show.

  • Kitty MLB

    Clearly its somewhat ludicrous to place naked pictures
    of ones self on line..even if you were Venus rising from the waves
    or the rather ravishing sister of Helen of Troy.Its probably always
    a good idea to be dressed whilst near a camera..Maybe these
    ladies need to wise up a little and to be honest there is more in
    the world to worry about then some foolish easily lead woman.

  • Costello

    Another disgruntled woman with a bone to pick with men. Please learn how to write instead of posting these embittered teenage rants.

  • saffrin

    “Nobody wants naked photos of themselves leaked across the internet so a global network of creeps can beat off to them.”
    Celeb’s do; which is why they posted their pics on the net in the first place.
    Z lister seeks publicity.

    • Alexsandr

      smart phones back up automatically.

      • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

        you’re only ever a click away from NOT having them back-up automatically.

    • Jeffrey M Oman

      she said sounding oddly envious.. oops

  • Mike Barnes

    “Knowledge is power – especially in cyberspace, which is full of nerds and weirdos who for many years were ostracised by society. They know how to code; they know how to hack. Some of them are making money in Silicon Valley; some of them are exacting cold revenge on society. It’s their way at getting back at the world and, in this case, at the sort of women who if they met them in real life would never give them a second glance.”

    Was there any need for this ridiculous potshot at men who like technology? The man who uploaded these pictures wanted paying in bitcoins to continue doing so. He’d been collecting them for a while, spending money to make money. He’s basically a criminal art dealer, not a vengeful school shooter who hates all wimmin.

  • chouenlai

    Having had my comment chucked out yet again, I will try again. Why have these 102 females had these kinds of photo’s taken in the first place? Why have they stored them on line ? Why was my first comment bounced ?

    • Alexsandr

      why should no not take or have taken photos of yourself however you want. What is not excusable is not realising how leaky the internet is and not taking proper precautions

    • paulthorgan

      ” Why have these 102 females had these kinds of photo’s taken in the
      first place?”

      Human Stupidity

      “Why have they stored them on line ?”

      Human Stupidity

      “Why was my first
      comment bounced ?”

      Machine Stupidity. They’re not perfect…

      • Kitty MLB

        Some might say being humiliation caused by ones
        own vanity.

  • Alexsandr

    lara says ‘Apple’s iCloud does seem secure’

    what rot. they didnt have the basic safeguard to lock an account if 3 attempts are made with incorrect password. They failed to advertise the second level password facility. (Google are as bad)

  • The Masked Marvel

    What self-centered nonsense. Ordinary people’s info gets hacked every day of the week, but suddenly we’re meant to care because a few celebutards have their photos leaked? When these narcissists start standing up for ordinary people on privacy and security issues, instead of supporting every Progressive and fascist cause going, one might be tempted to listen or care what they have to say.

    It’s about privacy, Lara, not feminism. Or are we now saying that women are more delicate and need special treatment rather than equality? Feminists hijacking a privacy and security issue is the epitome of selfishness.

    • Alexsandr

      women are the same as men. they can RTFM – read the *** manual.
      but no-one does.

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

        I do. Sometimes. When the damn thing’s broken.

      • Feste

        What manual? Apple just leaves it to the user to work out how to use their stuff

        • P_S_W

          There is plenty of information out there if you can be bothered to look.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Shorter, more relevant version of this blogpost: Don’t be a dumb s l u t. You can be one or the other, but if you’re both it’ll probably wind up on the internet.

    And in case you think I’m joking, this is exactly what I tell my granddaughters, word for word, when it’s time. Given the wrongheaded vacuity of your blogpost, perhaps it’s time you heard it as well, lass.

    • John Dalton

      Brilliant!

  • anon

    For an article centered around feminism, it seems strange to completely disregard the fact that the hacker may have been female.

    • https://www.facebook.com/ExposingFeminism?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark Exposing Feminism

      Exactly – a sexist assumption from the outset, followed by a host of derogatory labels – those inadequate male geeks, who can’t get laid etc.

      Flip the sexes, and feminists would be outraged at the ‘shaming of female sexuality’.

      It also fails to recognise that in the past there have been leaks of photos of many male celebrities.

      Lara is usually better than this.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

      As if that’s bluddy likely! We all know that hackers are nerdy no-win resentful Gollums with the s-x appeal of a trash can. Otherwise, they’d be wooing not hacking, wouldn’t they?

      • Kitty MLB

        Indeed shadowy characters who crawl around within
        the subterranean tunnels of the internet..the bottommost pit of society..where their heads also happen to be placed.

        • Bobbat

          Anonymous debate in an age of identity politics. It is interesting that anonymously, certain attitudes and activity is seen as abhorrent and called up as such. When the identity of the person is known, criticism depends on the race and gender of the perpetrator. What a bizarre society we live in.

  • la catholic state

    But Feminists have failed on every other ‘frontier’. They have turned women into promiscuous, graceless, loud-mouths.

    It’s time to sing the praises of Modest Girls. They are nobody’s fool. Modesty is power.

    • Guest

      deleted

    • Kaine

      You ever read any Margaret Atwood?

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Fenton!

        I have, and wouldn’t recommend it.

    • Wessex Man

      What? who wants a modest girl?

  • will91

    Feminisms only frontier should be the blight of honour killing and female genital mutilation. I think that should keep them busy…

    • Count Dooku

      Oh no, they find it much easier to castigate men as “creeps”, lobby the govt for woman-targeted bribes and moan all day about the “patriarchy”.

      The real challenges facing women around the world are completely secondary to them.

      • Kitty MLB

        Well said, Count.I find it insulting that we have a minister for women. If feminism is about intellectual
        equality then why do I need to be singled out for
        ‘special treatment’ because I’m a woman.

        • Count Dooku

          You go Sister! Thatcher, probably my favourite person ever, didn’t need special favours for anything. She succeeded because she was the best.

        • Terry Field

          Who could be ‘for’ women?
          No rational person.
          Like water molecules ‘for’ oxygen but not hydrogen.
          Cretinous.

    • paulthorgan

      Modern feminism is exclusively white and middle-class.

  • Tomas

    I’m impressed, as soon as I saw the leaked pictures I thought to myself “How long until they turn this into a feminist issue?” But surprisingly, you’re not blaming men as a whole for the actions of 2 reckless hackers….

    Anyways I agree with conclusion, women definitely need to be educated a bit more about internet security and whatnot.

    • fundamentallyflawed

      Are women part of the “global network of creeps (who) can beat off to them”. Definite sub-text that these pictures are desired and therefore procured with men in mind. Plus the solution is to educate women, not all children. I am sure many men (famous or otherwise) are equally ignorant

      • Swiss Bob

        Really? Some rather dull photos of celebs are going to be ‘beat off’ over.

        I would hazard that given the voluminous amounts of HD video covering virtually every, nay all predilections available that it is more prurience. An academic interest.

        • Holly

          Like the saying goes..
          Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em both.

        • fundamentallyflawed

          Lara’s words and sentiments not mine….

          • Swiss Bob

            Apologies.

            And to Holly. I confess, I looked at some of the JL ones. I Thought they were rather sweet, not at all Hollywood.

            My mother used to do that ‘cough’ thing as a school nurse, she is always quick to say ‘once you’ve seen one.. . . .’

            • Holly

              Mothers are ace aren’t they.
              My mum would give me a right slap, and no sympathy, if I was ever so bored that to amuse myself I took pictures of me naked.
              Stupid is as stupid does I suppose.

              A TRUE feminist would remember what she looked like naked, and would not need a photo to keep reminding her.
              …And keep the blokes guessing….
              Or relieved.

  • YahYah

    Finally! I thought the Spectator would never broach this important topic.

    And Lara, for such an indignant prude, you seem remarkably incapable of writing about anything other than s*x.

  • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

    In years past would she have trusted a locked box on the street for her private pictures/documents? The danger being that someone unscrupulous would come along and want to see what was in her private box? Why put stuff that you don’t want others to see in cyberspace of all palces? The only things I have in any Cloud (apart from my head :-) ) is music and general stuff including pictures but NOTHING that would cause me grief if someone/anyone else access.

    • Kitty MLB

      Maybe in the safety and privacy of their homes these women forget the reality of the internet.Its rather like those
      who were sued for twitter remarks ( never use it myself,wretched thing) they said as they were in their own
      home they forgot the dangers.

  • Swiss Bob

    Unfortunately a cure for stupidity has yet to be found.

  • CharlietheChump

    “Nobody wants naked photos of themselves leaked across the internet so a global network of creeps can beat off to them”.

    Then don’t store them online.

    • goatmince

      The logic is profoundly convincing.
      Yet what will come out of this pseudo-news piece?
      That Apple will make their services safer? Oh no.
      That users will wise up? Fail again.

      What will come out of this is the next reason for authorities to filter though your stuff stored in clouds. For all we know you could be holding image libraries of someone’s puppy fat. Jesus Christ!

    • monty61

      I think the point here – not explicitly made in the piece, perhaps for the reasons the piece itself goes into – is that many iPhones automatically upload ALL pictures taken (even if later locally deleted) to iCloud or Dropbox, a default setting (in some cases) that technophobes may not be able to override without a bit of knowledge.

      Therefore the ‘don’t store them online’ is a pointless jibe made in ignorance of the real issue.

    • John Dalton

      Bored of feminism in all it’s dull, preaching, misandrous forms.

      This article tacitly assumes it’s nasty pervy (white) men spreading the photos of these poor put-upon celeb idiots – and of course they’re fine to target – but where are the screaming feminists when it comes to standing up to I*lamo-fascism and it’s grooming of thousands of our young girls? Not so brave then are they when it comes to calling it like it is?

      The likes of Prendergast would do well to pay attention to the great Pat Condell: “The Curse of Progressive Feminism”:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbmeQtGMkUU

    • Slavoljub Dalje

      I found site with ALL 322 leaked photos uncensored !! ! :) :)
      Here is the link: http://betronom.com/leaked-photos/
      Enjoy fapping my kids ! :)

    • grandpa1940

      Don’t allow then to be taken and then you certainly won’t have to worry about somne nerdish pervert flicking (if that is the appropriate term) through your collection of not-so-family photographs

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