The managing editor of the Sun has said it would have been “perverse” not to publish photos of a naked Prince Harry taken in Las Vegas.
In our discussion yesterday of the social construction of the cell phone, this case came up several times. There are obviously questions of personal morality involved, as well as some legal issues, but the real ethical concerns have to do with decision to take, and then publish, the photos. The British tabloid The Sun invokes its own ethical imperative — the public interest — in justifying its decision to publish. How about the fellow partier who took the photo? What is his or her ethical responsibility?
Of course, we can talk about the ethics of the situation all day, but can we do anything about it? The question of regulability — does information technology change everything because we can no longer control it — is going to come up repeatedly.