A report has come out criticizing the efforts (‘the worm of the web’) of one Russian programmer Sergei Kholodovskii and an unnamed business partner for running a newly arrived website (you can find it from here) which is solely dedicated to the cataloguing of leaked naked images off the fappening scandal.
Asked via the UK’s Sun whether the man whose site is hosted out of Arizona but conveniently run out of Russia (and thereby out of reach of DMCA take down laws here in the US) is exploiting said celebrities Kholodovskii simply tells that if anything he is only providing the women ‘superior publicity’ that they wouldn’t be otherwise getting. Nevermind the fact that some of the women embroiled in the celebgate scandal have urged to have images of themselves taken down off the site to no avail. Or so it seems.
Reiterates the genius programmer whose pages open up to a ricochet of ad pages one after the other when one clicks on to the site (and one imagines a nice bounty of money): ‘Well, if you would like to know my opinion where these pictures are coming from, I think those celebrities release them themselves, for PR purposes.
‘Because, I say it again: there are many celebrities nobody was aware of before, and now everyone is talking about them.’
‘If somebody is unhappy to the point of taking action to sue us — well, we’ll just shut down the website and that will be it.’
Asked if his 25 year old wife Yana Sotova an aspiring pole dancer (indeed) knows what he does for a living and whether she has any problems with his new found vocation the Porsche driving programmer tells: ‘Of course she knows about it. She thinks it is a normal job, it is just site hosting, this is it,’
‘No, no. I think it is because the world view has changed about it. All people think it’s OK, at least all my friends think so.
‘I would call it erotic with elements of porno. There are quite revealing pix there.
Asked to name stars who were happy about their intimate pictures being posted on the open internet or who may have released them voluntarily Kholodovskii replies: ‘I don’t know the names, I am not quite interested who these people are, actresses or models.’
Adding interestingly: ‘To tell the truth, this is just a job for me. I wish they were cars. I like cars more.’
To prove that he is after all simply a good guy providing the public the rarefied service of sharing (as a conduit of sorts) of what’s freely out there on the web (and it is by the bucket) the programmer offers that the site has now begun running a disclaimer which reads as follows:
‘Attention! All the photos are found freely available on the internet. We don’t hack iCloud, email and other accounts. Do not ask us to do it! If we post your photo, contact us and we will remove it immediately. Thanks for reading.’
A cursory look on the site in fact sees a full bounty of images yet to have been removed from the site despite similar calls to other outlets upon the serving of take down notices (ours included) who have removed contested images (as we have when presented).
Asked if his site is perpetuating a sex crime the programmer opines that he does not believe so without going into any detail as to why he holds that view. Interestingly our outlet does not believe the viewing or publishing of said images constitutes a sex crime either and these are the reasons why.
As an added caveat, Sergei Kholodovskii explains he has no hesitation in continuing to publish leaked naked images as they continue to hit the web (a process which he has curiously declined to do since the weekend with a slew of new images on the web).
Irrespective of one’s take of the complexity of the web and what counts for privacy, intangible assets which may or may not belong to the originating source once they land in cyberland and moral arguments one may choose to make or not the Russian programmer really doesn’t know why there is so much fuss over the issue, telling that he is simply doing a job like any one else where the money is decent.
Explains Sergei: ‘I am paid a fixed amount every month for maintenance of this website and I am satisfied with it.
‘I am not paid much – but I have many websites.’
Of course one can’t help but wonder whether similarly the owners/editors/writers of other ‘legitimate‘ (define legitimate) tabloid sites, the UK’s Sun included and those like it don’t have their own moral dilemma when it comes to running images, stories, that one could equally argue amount to the exploitation of their subjects as well….