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March 27, 2013

Paparazzi is futile.


If Instagram is helping birth a new breed of paparazzi, we might need a new breed of privacy law to counteract it.

As an examination of the evolving economics of snapping celebrity photos, Jenna Wortham’s Tuesday New York Times blog post about how a recent candid pic of Beyonce spread across the internet is pretty revelatory. Lurking below the surface, though, I think there’s an even bigger story about how easy it is to snap and publish photos of everyone — not just celebrities — and for those photos to spread further and faster than ever before possible.

Just recently, for example, some relatively harmless (albeit juvenile) “big dongle” jokes put two unwitting conference attendees in the public eye and cost one of them his job. He wasn’t on stage; he was sitting in the 10th row during a talk. The woman who tweeted their images and her complaint…

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