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Revenge porn - Steps to avoid and ways to handle abusive scenarios online

Sexually explicit media gets posted online with an aim to harass the visually involved person. The involved person's consent is not taken and their nude photos or film gets spread on the web through anonymous networks and forums.
More than 50% of victims of revenge porn report that their pics were accompanied by their names and email addresses. Such personal information, when searched online using the victim’s name, can be damaging to their reputation. Search results can impact their career or love life.

Smartphones with cameras and the modern ease of creating, managing and sharing media has turned revenge pornography into an epidemic, which is challenging to handle or impossible to remove.

Steps to avoid becoming a revenge porn victim
  • Never take compromising videos or photographs, especially when you are undressed.
  • If you take nude pics then never mail them to anyone, even the one you completely trust.
  • Parents need to discuss with their preteens about how an innocent photo can be turned into something detrimental instantly.
  • If someone took intimate pics then make sure they get deleted.
  • If someone posts such sexually explicit material online then request them to delete it.
  • You can seek help from family, friends, police, or any authorised personnel.
  • Intimate relationships and friendships never last forever because it has been found that ex-boyfriends and disgruntled friends are top offenders to post your undesirable porn videos or pics.
  • Never get scammed by some strange photographer in capturing ‘pretty’ photos, which will turn you into a film star. Check the credentials first before signing a contract.
Unfortunately, all this talk about being cautious of sharing personal explicit material online can get compromised. People believe private messaging apps that claim your pictures will disappear as soon as they are viewed. An extra protection layer is added, but the vulnerable aspect is that the receiver can take a screenshot.

How to handle revenge porn?

Take legal action

Victims of revenge porn need to opt for legal counselling, but act quickly. Find every place online where your abusive material exists and take screenshots. Next step is to contact the websites which host these explicit photos and request them to be removed. Actually, this does not work, but it is vital for building a strong legal case, which displays you are actively making an effort to eliminate these non-consensual images.

If you know the perpetrator responsible for uploading the revenge porn material then take legal action. Revenge porn laws constantly fluctuate. Privacy laws and tort can be employed but you will need to establish that the photos were captured with an intention to remain personal. In addition, you will need to show how this sexually abusive material posted about you intentionally has caused emotional havoc, which is difficult to prove.

Copyright laws

If the photo is a selfie then remember Google is against listing results having copyrighted materials. The hosting website can be de-indexed with the help of a DMCA takedown. The abusive material will exist on the porn website, but will not be shown on Google's search results page.

Even if the photo was clicked by someone without your knowledge, you may leverage copyright law to get photos taken down.

It is necessary to proactively deal with this situation and bury the abusive content through SEO. Post positive content to control what people see when they search your name. It is the best online reputation management strategy.


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