Did Kim Kardashian West's Snapchat reveal her location to robbers?

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On Sunday night, several masked men dressed as police officers broke into Kim Kardashian West's apartment in Paris and robbed her at gunpoint. She was staying in a private apartment inside of a rental mansion for Paris Fashion Week. (The mansion has a concierge at the front door, who was reportedly handcuffed and forced by the robbers to unlock the apartment.) Once the robbers gained access to her apartment, Kardashian West was tied up and locked in the bathroom while the men made off with $10 million in jewelry.

Kardashian West's experience sounds like nothing short of a nightmare. (A spokeswoman said Kim has since left Paris and is "badly shaken but physically unharmed.") But it's not a nightmare one of the world's most famous families didn't see coming. As first noted by BuzzFeed, Kardashian West & Co. have previously discussed the potential dangers of social media on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, after Kylie Jenner's stalker was revealed during the most recent season. In one episode, the family "pranked" Jenner to teach her a lesson about sharing locations on Snapchat. Sister Khloé Kardashian even suggested they "hold her up at gunpoint" to scare her into being more careful, a joke which feels darkly apropos in hindsight.

See photos of Kim Kardashian arriving in NYC:

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Kim Kardashian arrives in NYC after Paris robbery
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Kim Kardashian arrives in NYC after Paris robbery
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian arrive to their Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian arrive to their Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kim Kardashian arrives to her Manhattan apartment after being robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Security guards guard Kim Kardashian's Manhattan apartment after she was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
Kris Jenner leaves Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's town house in New York City October 3, 2016. Kardashian, a US reality television star, was tied up and robbed at gunpoint earlier on Monday at a luxury Paris residence by robbers who made off with millions in jewellery. She flew out of France on a private jet on Monday after being questioned by police about the robbery. Kardashian, one of the most recognisable US celebrities, had made a series of high-profile appearances at Paris fashion week. / AFP / Angela Weiss (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kim Kardashian arrives to her Manhattan apartment after being robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kris Jenner arrives to Kim Kardashian's Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kris Jenner arrives to Kim Kardashian's Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kris Jenner arrives to Kim Kardashian's Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kris Jenner arrives to Kim Kardashian's Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kris Jenner arrives to Kim Kardashian's Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: General view outside of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's New York City apartment on October 03, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gardiner Anderson/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Kris Jenner arrives to Kim Kardashian's Manhattan apartment after Kim was robbed in her Paris, France hotel room on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
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Like her sister Kylie, Kim Kardashian West isn't shy on Snapchat. In the days and hours prior to the robbery, she posted several snaps that appear to have been taken inside the apartment where the incident occurred. (Snapchat stories auto-delete after 24 hours, but when you're as famous as Kardashian West there are entire fan accounts devoted to saving and reposting them.) And in case Snapchat wasn't enough, there are Kim's Instagram, Twitter, and the social accounts of the rest of her family (not to mention the horde of stylists, makeup artists, and Hadids who are constantly with them). What this means is anybody with a cell phone could map out a pretty good picture of where Kardashian West is and what she's up to, at all times. (Khloé Kardashian says she puts her phone on airplane mode and will wait to upload snaps until after she's left a location, but Kardashian West's Paris posts appear to have been happening in real time.)

So what is the entrepreneur, reality star, and emoji peddler supposed to do now? On a larger and more traumatic scale, what happened to Kardashian West rings back to warnings you've probably already heard before from tech-averse parents, friends, or the TSA Twitter account. Don't share a picture of your boarding pass for that Hawaiian vacation on Facebook unless you want to return and find your house resembling the set of the Home Alone. (And wait to Instagram those beach pictures until you get back.) Don't tweet that your roommates are all gone and you have excitedly kicked off your pants because you have the apartment to yourself for the next 72 hours. Actually, never tweet at all.

But Kardashian West's brand is doing all of those things ... and people love her for it. (And love to hate her for it. Again, all part of the brand.) She and her family have built an empire on sharing. Sharing their lives. Their homes. Their preferred brand of refrigerator for the ideal selfie lighting. (I kid you not.)

See photos of the scene outside of Kim Kardashian's Paris apartment:

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Investigation at Paris apartment where Kim Kardashian was robbed
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Investigation at Paris apartment where Kim Kardashian was robbed
A police officer stands guard at the entrance of a luxury residence on the Rue Tronchet in central Paris, France, October 3, 2016 where masked men robbed U.S. reality TV star Kim Kardashian West at gunpoint early on Monday, stealing jewellery worth millions of dollars, police and her publicist said. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
A police officer stands guard at the entrance of a luxury residence on the Rue Tronchet in central Paris, France, October 3, 2016 where masked men robbed U.S. reality TV star Kim Kardashian West at gunpoint early on Monday, stealing jewellery worth millions of dollars, police and her publicist said. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Journalists stand in front of the entrance of a luxury residence on the Rue Tronchet in central Paris, France, October 3, 2016 where masked men robbed U.S. reality TV star Kim Kardashian West at gunpoint early on Monday, stealing jewellery worth millions of dollars, police and her publicist said. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
A police officer stands guard at the entrance of a luxury residence on the Rue Tronchet in central Paris, France, October 3, 2016 where masked men robbed U.S. reality TV star Kim Kardashian West at gunpoint early on Monday, stealing jewellery worth millions of dollars, police and her publicist said. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: A close-up on the 'Rue Tronchet' street sign where is Kim Kardashian's Luxury Apartment, Hotel de Pourtales, after being robbed at gunpoint by masked men during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 3, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: A french police car is seen outside Kim Kardashian's Luxury Apartment after being robbed at gunpoint by masked men during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 3, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)
Journalists work as police officers stand guard at the entrance to a hotel residence at the Rue Tronchet, near Madeleine, central Paris, on October 3, 2016, where US reality television star Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint by assailants disguised as police who made off with millions, mainly in jewellery. Paris police on October 3 said that the loss amounted to 'several million euros, mostly jewellery,' adding that they were still assessing the total amount stolen and had opened an investigation. A spokesperson for the celebrity had earlier described her as 'badly shaken but physically unharmed' after the assault, which occurred late on October 2. / AFP / Thomas SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: A general view at Kim Kardashian's Luxury Apartment, Hotel de Pourtales on Rue Tronchet, after being robbed at gunpoint by masked men during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 3, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)
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But making yourself available to a crowd of adoring fans also means making yourself available to people with the ability and motivation to rob you. The thrill of constant access is accompanied by the danger of passive surveillance. Kim knows this: It's not like she isn't already constantly accompanied by a security detail. This robbery was a horrible and unforeseen experience Kardashian West was already trying to prevent.

We don't know if the robbers in this case got their victim's location from her Snapchat, or if there was another kind of tip-off. But it's utterly imaginable, and terrifying. As more and more people adopt the Kardashian model of being, fame, and fabulousness, more and more people will have to juggle the same risks. And if the risks are deemed too much, the fans lose, too: We get to keep up with Kim Kardashian West only because she allows us, through a series of calculated images and video shares, to view her domain. She shouldn't be chided for or expected to give up being a professional oversharer just because five men with guns decided to violate that space. While Kim, understandably, hasn't posted anything new since the robbery, when she does come back I can only hope it will be with the same strategic candor in her voice, and diamonds on all her damn fingers.


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