Monday 24 September 2012

MailOnline publishes 'creepshots'

On Saturday, the Guardian published an article on creepshots - photographing women without their knowledge (often 'upskirt' photos) - and revenge porn. Early in Kira Cochrane's article, she wrote:

Erin Gloria Ryan, a writer for popular women's website, was alerted to the [creepshots] forum by concerned Reddit users who are trying to get it closed, partly because some of the pictures appear to have been taken in schools.

A day later, MailOnline's Michael Zennie wrote an article about Reddit and creepshots:

Zennie wrote:

Campaigners are fighting to close an online forum that promotes the photographing of unsuspecting women for users' sexual gratification.

The message board on the popular website Reddit was explicitly created by users who wanted to ogle candid photos that were taken without the subjects' knowledge.

The sub-forum is called 'CreepShots', featuring images of ordinary women on the street, in the gym or even at school who are caught unawares by stealthy 'creeps' with cameras.

Most shots focus on the buttocks or breasts of non-consenting women going about their daily lives - and users admit that 'at least 40 percent' of the images are of underage girls.

Someone at MailOnline then decided to illustrate the article with FOUR of the creepshot photos the article is complaining about.

There is no justification for publishing any of these images. Indeed, MailOnline has now removed all the photos from the article - albeit, some 15 hours after it was first published - a clear indication it knew this was a serious error.

Two of the photos were upskirt shots of schoolgirls whose faces were not shown. There was simply no way for the MailOnline to know how old they were. In one caption, they said:

Another image in a school tries to capture an 'upskirt' of a pupil.

In the other:

Online voyeurism: A large number of the 'Creep' forums are 'upskirt' images, apparently taken in school.

'Online voyeurism' indeed. It's not that unusual for the Mail and MailOnline to display such hypocrisy - as with The X Factor final, it can froth about sexualised images while simultaneously revelling in such material.

But in this case, MailOnline has gone further. It admits the photos were taken 'without permission' and yet deems them suitable to publish. It refers to the fact that many of the images are apparently of 'underage girls', yet deems them suitable to publish. Given the faces are covered, MailOnline has no idea how old any of the girls are, yet deems them suitable to publish.

Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre told Leveson he was "very proud of MailOnline." It won newspaper website of the year at the 2012 Press Awards. MediaGuardian recently named MailOnline publisher Martin Clarke as the 38th most powerful media figure.

* This is the article before the photos were removed - this blog has decided to censor the images:

UPDATE 1: During writing this post, and one hour after removing all the pics, MailOnline edited the article and re-published the first photo.

UPDATE 2: An hour after that, another photo re-appeared, but it was now partly censored with a black box.

(Hat-tip to Simon)


  1. The photos were used and were illegal. The article was about pornography and the pics were used to illustrate that point and were provocative and were 'sexualised' images of under aged teens. Quite simply they were child pornography in the eyes of the law and the Daily Mail editor must be questioned by police. this is clearly a criminal offence and it matters little they were only published for a short time. Why does the Mail even have these child porn images ?. Possession is a crime also. Or is a tabloid not accountable?

  2. I wonder what the Daily Mail has in the past advocated doing to child pornographers?

  3. Typical Mail morality, the internet is evil, and here's why, and to prove it we're gonna print up skirt shots of 12 year old girls.

    'We only print these so you can see the full lurid details of such terrible content..mmm....teen gussets'.

    Weren't they photographing and making entire articles about the 'lithe' thighs of some 6 year old daughter of a celeb recently?

    Their obsession with underage flesh on display is creepy at best, and illegal at worst.

    I'ts ok tho, because they're the moral high ground, right, looking out for Britain, yeah?

  4. The people at Mail online are all Reddit users anyway.... you can tell by the amount of 'stories' they nick from there


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