But what’s really fascinating about this story is not that a law professor inadvertently shared a porn link with her students. What’s newsworthy is that, actually, there was nothing newsworthy about it. What happened was, in the grand scheme, pretty trivial. My students are adults. The link was quickly removed. There was nothing illegal in the video. The post occurred in the same two-month period when the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” grossed almost $570 million worldwide. Yet, because it was porn and I’m a law professor, news organizations spread the story around the world.
Seemingly, private citizens do not have the right to that one simple thing: privacy. In a moment, through no desire of their own, they can become public figures, shamed in headlines for conduct that is unintentional and harmful to no one — except themselves, as the news media exploit them for sport and profit.