If You Are A Victim Of Revenge Porn

A picture is worth 1000 words, right? Well, now that our smart phones give us a camera in-hand 24/7, we have a lot to say as we document our lives with great frequency and a level of detail like never before.

Sure, the documenting of a friend’s child most minor, albeit adorable, milestones may get overwhelming and someone’s need to document their every meal may just be plain irritating. But these posting habits are easy to ignore or slide past. There are however some images that can burn a hole in your memory and haunt you for a very long time, if not forever.

I’m talking about nudes. Have you ever sent or received one? In fairness, it’s not your moral quality that will determine a yes or no to this question. It’s really your age and ability to reason over the implications prior to doing so. What was once risqué or taboo has become an accepted form of flirtation among many adult singles and adults in relationships. But, like any freedom—this being freedom of expression—you are free to do it, but there are consequences. And when it comes to kids, it is never ok for then to send nudes.

Before you send that sexy picture, here are the two most salient points for you to remember:

  • One – there is no such thing as privacy when using technology. Anything you post or share via social media platforms, communication apps, email and text is permanent and can be found via search functions or simply when a screenshot or other recoding method preserves the image (this also include the apps that claim to be more secure…no, not in this case).
  • Two – People, even those that you once loved, trusted and admired, can disappoint you and treat you badly.

Meaning, that an image that you once sent to someone you trusted, in a manner of communication that you considered private, can end up being maliciously shared with others after the relationship ends. This is revenge porn, and there is nothing sexy about it.

Remember, anytime you share a sexualized image, you are putting yourself at risk to having your most intimate expression of yourself shared with others—maybe family and friends and maybe total strangers.

A study by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative shows that one in eight Americans on social media find themselves victims of revenge porn, with women disproportionately affected, about 1.7 times as likely to find themselves targeted than men.

Victims of revenge porn struggle with the loss of privacy AND the very real challenge of how to get the images taken down. There are sites dedicated to revenge porn, where spurned romantic partners post comprising pictures of their exes – and once an image or video is posted there, it can very easily travel to countless other sites. If this happens to you, the Federal Trade Commission and the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative has instructions for what to do next:

  • Follow the steps in the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s Online Removal Guide. To get your image taken down, you’ll need to report it to the platform it’s on. This guide covers what to consider before you report, what to expect, documenting the post, and then how to report it on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • There are laws against revenge porn in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. Check to see if there’s one where you live, and then decide whether you want to talk with local law enforcement. If you do, be sure to tell law enforcement if your situation might involve domestic violence, cyberstalking, or child pornography (if the image was taken when you were underage).
  • You also could consult with an attorney. There are laws that might be able to help you get your images taken down.
  • If you’re thinking about hiring a takedown service, make sure you know what you’re getting. Find out what they promise to do to take your image down, and whether you can do that yourself for free. Find out how much they’ll charge, and whether it’s a one-time charge, or recurring – and for how long.
  • If you experienced non-consensual pornography, need help or advice, and you live in the U.S., call the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s crisis hotline: 844-878-CCRI (2274).

If you are the victim of non-consensual pornography, take the steps above—and then tell the Federal Trade Commission if a company posts your image without your consent and won’t take it down.

More Information:


Savvy Cyber Kids educates and empowers digital citizens, from parents and grandparents, to teachers and students. Sign up for our free resources to help you navigate today’s digital world with cyber ethics. See more cyber safety and cyber ethics blogs produced exclusively for EarthLink. Looking for a social media parental control? Try a 30-day free trial of Bark. If you sign up after your trial, Bark donates 25% of your monthly fee to Savvy Cyber Kids.

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2018-11-16T20:12:52+00:00 February 28, 2019|Blog|