After dozens of nude photographs of celebrities obtained by a hacker were published online over the weekend, countless Twitter users sought to shame the victims by suggesting that they should never have taken such photos in the first place.

Victim-shaming is nothing new, and women have been told for decades that they should dress and act a certain way if they want to avoid unwanted sexual attention, a fact “Girls” creator Lena Dunham spelled out in a widely circulated tweet:

That tweet, posted Monday, was re-tweeted more than 17,000 times and received more than 19,000 “favourites” by early afternoon Tuesday.

Some of the victims of last weekend’s iCloud hack have issued statements expressing their outrage, and have threatened legal action against the perpetrator. Others have said the photos of them are fakes.

But one reaction was shared by many on social media: that the way to avoid being victimized by having private images made public was to not have taken them in the first place.

A tweet from New York Times tech writer Nick Bilton got much attention, with dozens of responses reminding him that the victims are not at fault.




Other, less famous users, repeated Bilton’s advice.



Even comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted that the way to avoid having nude pictures taken from your computer is to not have them there in the first place. That tweet has since been deleted, but was picked up by other users.

Other Twitter users, famous and non-famous alike, hit back at the blame-the-victim backlash.





Some went over-the-top and made their point with (gentle) humour:


Dunham and others pointed out that the hacker’s decision to make the photos public should be considered a sex crime.