Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Mostly Don'ts of the Seth Rollins Flap

The only picture of Rollins you'll see on this article
Photo Credit:WWE.com
Right before RAW went on the air last night, a picture of a nude woman, later identified as NXT trainee Zahra Schreiber, appeared on Seth Rollins' Twitter and Instagram feeds. Then, on Rollins' fiancee Leighla Schultz's feed, a picture of his phallus appeared. The photos were quickly taken down, but not before the Internet got a hold of them. They've been saved to numerous hard drives and live on in cyberspace despite the fact that Rollins and Schreiber never meant for them to be stolen and delivered to the public in the first place. Schultz has admitted posting the pictures in retaliation for infidelity from her future (?) husband.

A story such as this requires sensitivity since these pictures were obviously private and not meant to be shared between anyone except for Rollins and apparently Schreiber. However, it is news, so it should be reported, I suppose. So, I have come up with a list of dos and don'ts in how to cover such a story:

DON'T share the pictures. Not only are the pictures violations of two people's privacy, but they're stolen property. It's gross.

DON'T share doctored versions of the pictures. Putting a Money in the Bank briefcase or some other censoring bauble on top of the "naughty" parts doesn't make it any less gross or any less of an invasion of privacy.

Seriously, DON'T keep the pictures on your goddamn hard drive in any form. Fucking delete them. God, you do know women and men are on the Internet consensually sharing their naked bodies on a billion websites out there, right? Ron Jeremy will show you his cock for a modest fee , or even for free if you go to one of the Tube-sites.

DON'T blame Schreiber for any of this. You don't know her role, and even if you did, it's none of your business.

DON'T equate Schultz's actions in the same breath as people who operate "revenge porn" sites. Technically, they're the same actions, but the degree of difference between an apparently jilted lover acting out in frustration and sadness is way way way WAY less severe than the scumbags who take those videos and post them for ad revenue on their sites. What she did was wrong, but put the pitchforks away, r/MensRights.

DON'T rationalize posting stolen, intimate pictures as retaliation for infidelity. Other ways are in the open to deal with an unfaithful partner, ones that don't escalate the action to overreactionary levels.

DON'T think of Rollins as 100% a victim here. Again, no one knows the specifics, but if he went outside his engagement, then he's wrong here.

In fact, DON'T formulate an opinion of the situation beyond the picture theft unless you know the relationship between Rollins and Schultz. Seriously, don't.

DON'T speculate on how this will affect Rollins' push. Remember when Adrian Peterson beat his kid with a switch, and people immediately started wondering how it would affect his fantasy value? Remember how much people laughed at those idiots for failing to grasp the situation? Yeah, you'd be doing the same thing here.

ETA: DON'T make threats to anyone, especially Schultz. Jesus, you fucking animals. JESUS.

And finally, DO mind your own goddamn business. I know that once the pictures went live on Instagram and Twitter that it became a public story, but the public elements of the story are easy to discern from the private ones. The public ones are pretty easy to ignore as well if one so chooses. Basically, this situation is a pressure cooker among three adults that needs to be handled among those three adults. Rollins and Schultz need their privacy to work through whatever problems they have, and having every nose pry into it with baseless speculation or even more invasive action helps no one.

The American obsession with what goes on behind everyone's closed doors is one of the most abhorrent mob tendencies in a country that leaves several other grotesque warts out for display in the open air. Just because Schultz put it out in the open on one occasion doesn't make the entire affair public domain, no matter how many page hits, dollars, or Twitter followers are at stake. Let them handle their affairs in private and be decent for once, okay?