My Ethical Dilemma – Privacy and its Unwritten Rules

Privacy-Rights1To what extent is a private moment private? With so many cameras and phones around, pictures and videos have become a much larger part of our lives than before. Candid photos are taken, goofy videos are recorded, and then many of them are put on the Internet, or at least shared with friends. But do you think that you should still have control over what people see and what remains private in your life? Two of my good friends are currently in a fight because of the lax rules our society has surrounding photo privacy. For the sake of privacy (ironically) we will call them Bell and Bae.

Bell is my very best friend, and she has been for several years. We are always together, think with one mind and find each other hilarious. I can’t imagine my life without Bell. She recently started dating someone and he’s a pretty okay guy. They bonded over photos and so he has seen almost all of the horrible photos she has of me on her phone. Needless to say I wasn’t very happy about this, things like bad selfies and me making weird faces aren’t really things I want shown to anyone but her. But because I dislike confrontation I tried to repress my annoyance and move on with my life, which I did. Up until now…

Recently Bell, Bae and I were hanging out with a couple other girlfriends and we were playing games. Now Bae is one of the most fearless and confident people I have ever met, she’s totally open about everything, shares (sometimes a little too much) all parts of her life with us, and is the queen of Truth or Dare. Bae asks the hard questions and gives the best dares, but there’s not really anything we could her ask for the truth section because she’s already told us everything. And she’ll do any dare you want hands down because she’s so confident and amazing. In one of the first rounds Bae was dared to do something a little weird, but she owned it. She put on a true performance, the kind that you WANT to tell people about. She knew that at least 2 of us were videotaping it. It was hilarious and we all had a good time, and then I forgot about it.

Forgot about it at least until one of the other girls at the party came up to me in the hall today and said “Did you hear? Bell showed her boyfriend that video of Bae, and Bae is furious.”

I’m going to lay down the facts for you…

1. Bae had had her wisdom teeth out the night before the party so she was a bit loopy that night because she was on a lot of painkillers
2. Bae did some things in the dare that she would not have done if she wasn’t with a room full of friends she trusted
3. It’s a certain rule of Truth or Dare that the secrets are kept
4. Bae has never expressed any desire for privacy, she’s very open
5. Bae knew the videos were being taken and didn’t say anything about not showing them to people
6. Bell only showed it to the one person

The results are Bae is mad at Bell and Bell isn’t really apologizing because she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. Bae feels violated, and like her trust has been betrayed. Bell feels like everyone is ganging up on her for something she didn’t know/think was wrong. Personally I’m on Bae’s side, not only because I think that Bell’s lack of confidentiality is becoming a problem, but because I know that if I was the one in that video I wouldn’t want anyone seeing it without my permission. Bae is overreacting a bit, which I think stops as many people from siding with her, but Bell’s refusal to admit wrongdoing is not okay. Then again I can see both sides. Bae thinks her trust was violated, Bell didn’t think there was any wrongdoing in the first place.

What do you all think about this?

-Anonymous – 17

Resources of interest:

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