Technology & Science·Audio

Emma Holten responds to nude photo leak with consensual images

When Emma Holten's email was hacked, with the perpetrator releasing her nude private photos for thousands to view online, the shaken Danish student responded in an unusual way. She released even more topless images, but with a key difference — they were taken with her consent.

'The problem lies with the fact that my consent has been violated,' student says

After her email was hacked and private photos of her were leaked online, Copenhagen student Emma Holten released a set of new topless photos and published an essay on consent, in a bid to begin a discussion about internet privacy, consent and the sexualization of the female body. (

Danish student Emma Holten felt violated when a hacker raided her email and posted her private nude photos for thousands to see online.

In a surprising twist, however, she took a step which she said was empowering — though it may sound counterproductive at first blush.

"I took new photos of myself topless in everyday situations," she told CBC Radio's The Current, explaining the images were "un-sexualized," as a way to "challenge the way with which we see the female body, and accentuate the difference between consent and non-consent."

Holten wrote an accompanying essay, titled Consent, in which she argued that nudity was not the major issue.

Part of the thrill, she learned, was with the "sexualization of non-consent," in which online tormentors and attempted blackmailers "enjoyed that I was in pain and that it was humiliating for me."

"I don't see a problem with being naked on the internet, that's not where the problem lies," Holten explained. "The problem lies with the fact that my consent has been violated."

The problem of nude images released by hackers has become an issue for everyone from celebrities to school girls and their parents. 

Listen to Holten's full audio interview with The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti by clicking on the embedded player above.


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