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What you need to know about ‘creepshots’ and why Toronto women should watch out

Standing on the corner, walking down the street, waiting for the bus – if you're in public view, you can be photographed. And those photos can legally be posted online without your consent (but if you ask a site to remove them, they'll usually oblige.)

The people who take and post "creepshots" – that is, photos of oblivious, unsuspecting women – are undeniably a special classification of scumbag, but they're not criminals.

These online trolls – specifically one by the oh-so-classy screen-name CreeperComforts – on the social-sharing website Reddit are now, ironically, seeking privacy, after a Toronto woman complained of a man snapping photos of women in the city's downtown area and posting them on a Reddit board.

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Even more cringe-worthy is this thinly veiled excuse for "photography" CreeperComforts gave:

"As a candid photographer," he wrote to QMI Agency, "the idea behind my photography is to take pictures of what I deem to be attractive or appealing."

He's the online pervy version of that guy staring at you on the subway; he's legally allowed to be there, but it ruins your night. And Canadian law protects his rights.

"Despite the fact a moderator has had his real-life identity compromised, I am more determined than ever to bring back CreepShots and make it even bigger (the) second time around," he wrote Wednesday to The Toronto Sun.

Ugh.

And even more creepy? Reddit's defence of the creepers behind creepshots. When a Gawker journalist threatened to out one such poster, Reddit took action: They're not allowing any links to Gawker's website.

Where do you stand? Personally, I agree with fictional newsanchor Will McAvoy. (I know, I know, we're all supposed to hate The Newsroom, but hear him out.) "Unless you're Deep Throat or in the witness protection program, anonymity is cowardice."

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Do online commenters deserve privacy, particularly if they are posting photos of others who would arguably like their privacy too?

Tell us in the (anonymous, of course) comment section.

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About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More

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