‘Cyber-Flashing’ Is A Disturbing New Thing

Dick pics. Nobody seems to like them and yet they’re everywhere – the scourge of modern telecommunications. And while getting an unwanted genital display from someone you know or are communicating with online is bad enough, they don’t usually appear out of the blue.  But now it seems nobody is safe when you consider the case of Lorraine Crighton-Smith, an Englishwoman who was traveling by train recently in London when she received unwanted images on her phone of some guy’s hairy John Thomas. Disturbingly the images were sent by a total stranger somewhere in the vicinity.

The incident was apparently enabled by Apple’s AirDrop feature which allows users to share documents and photographs between nearby Apple devices.

As Crighton-Smith told the BBC:

“I had Airdrop switched on because I had been using it previously to send photos to another iPhone user – and a picture appeared on the screen of a man’s penis, which I was quite shocked by.”

When set to the “Everyone” setting, everyone around a person can indeed send them files, including vulgar images, opening the door to the type of harassment experienced by Crighton-Smith. It’s essentially the digital equivalent of the trench-coat flashers of yore.

Crighton-Smith reported the incident to the British Transport Police, but it’s unclear how law enforcement can hope to keep up with rapidly changing mobile technologies. So until society evolves beyond this sort of lewd behavior, which it shows no signs of doing, keep an eye on your settings. Creepers gonna creep.



‘Cyber-Flashing’ Is A Disturbing New Thing

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