Revenge Porn – Intentional Posting of Nude Private Photos

By this article, we hope to discuss some of the remedies available to victims of revenge porn.  At the same time, we also discuss some of the traps to avoid should nude or private photos or videos be published on the Internet.  For more then ten (10) years, our firm has represented individuals who have become victims of “revenge porn.”

In short, “revenge porn” refers to the intentional posting of nude or private photos or videos on the Internet (or elsewhere) by a former boyfriend, spouse, partner, or another individual with whom a close relationship once existed.  Unfortunately, some websites solicit such content for a variety of reasons.  And, still more unfortunately, some operators of these revenge porn websites create fake attorneys or companies who claim to be able to remove content for a fee.  In short, some revenge porn websites engage in nothing short of extortion.

Preliminary Advice

At the outset, the most important advice to anyone (but particularly young persons in high school, college, and recent college graduates) to avoid becoming a victim of revenge porn will be to refrain from taking private or nude photos of themselves.

Even though never sent to anyone, private content on cell phones can become public should the phone be stolen, obtained by a peer, used by a stranger, or any number of other circumstances.  Consequently, one should not take private or nude photos of themselves.  If you already have them on your phone, the corollary recommendation would be to delete them immediately.  You should also password protect your phone and content.

In other circumstances, some persons send private photos or videos of themselves to other persons by text (or email).  This “sexting” inevitably leads to the potential for later disclosure of the once private photos or videos.  Too often, individuals will claim they need nude photos or videos by which to remember a partner.  Or, the recipient will claim to delete the photo immediately after obtaining it.  None of this should  be believed.  For, control over the privacy of the nude photo or video dissipates as soon as sent from the photographer’s phone.  So, the next recommendation is simply NOT to send private nude photos or videos to anyone.

At the same time, no one should allow an individual to take nude photos or videos of them.  Again, the privacy of the photos and videos ceases to exists nearly immediately.

While a close friend may be trustworthy one moment on one day, this virtue can disappear as soon as the relationship deteriorates.  And, unfortunately, some will use the possession of private nude photos and videos of a former partner to secure “revenge” for breaking up with them, affairs, or other sorted life events.  This constitutes “revenge porn.”

Though straightforward to many, these four recommendations to avoid becoming a victim of revenge porn often will be ignored by those in love, entranced with another, or simply young and naive.  However, the serve as the post means to avoid later invasions of privacy.  Again: (1) do not take nude or private pictures or videos of yourself; (2) delete any nude or private photos or videos that you now possess of yourself; (3) do not send any nude or private photos or videos to anyone; and (4) do not allow anyone to take private nude photos or videos of you.

 

I Did Not Know He Recorded Me

As might be expected, even following the aforementioned recommendations does not guarantee someone will avoid being a victim of revenge porn.  Sometimes, the person with whom someone lives, engages in intimate activities, or visits will take private nude photos or record private nude videos of a victim without the victim’s knowledge.  Apart from making sure that one can trust an individual to respect private moments (which does not guarantee the individual will respect another’s privacy), there exists no real practical means of avoiding this situation.  But, you can take some precautions such as controlling the location of intimate activities.

In any case, the discovery of these photos and videos can arise in any number of ways.  Some times, you will not know they exist until someone tells you that they have been posted on the Internet.

 

My Private Photos are on the Internet!  What do I do?

Elsewhere on this blog, we discussed some remedies available when one finds private photos of themselves on the Internet.  In short, you should find an attorney who has substantial experience in this area to help you as soon as you find the content on the Internet.  The primary objective will be the removal of the content from the Internet.  Next, measures must be employed to ensure the content will not be published again.

 

What Should I Not Do?

YOU SHOULD NOT USE AN ATTORNEY, LAW FIRM, OR REPUTATION COMPANY THAT ADVERTISES ON THE SAME SITE AS THE CONTENT.  There exists any number of ethical issues with an attorney or law firm advertising on the website of a potential adversarial party.  This should be an immediate red flag to any victim of revenge porn, privacy violation, or defamation.  Moreover, there simply is something wrong with any reputation company that advertises on a revenge porn site or website that solicits defamatory or private content.  There exists an obvious conflict of interest.  Finally, anyone who guarantees that content can be removed should be considered with suspicion.  There exists no means of guaranteeing removal of content unless one has an inside relationship with the website.  Moreover, again, there exist ethical issues with any attorney or law firm guaranteeing a result.

 

Legislative News on Revenge Porn

Arizona – April 30, 2014 – Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a revenge porn statute making it a felony to post intimate images of another without that individual’s consent.

Charles Lee Mudd Jr. has represented victims of privacy, defamation, and revenge porn for many years.  He spoke about revenge porn during an NBC affiliate’s coverage of revenge porn.

About Charles Lee Mudd Jr.

Charles Lee Mudd Jr. has operated his own law firm since 2001. In the last ten years, the firm has grown to become an internationally recognized diversified practice providing representation to a clientele comprised of local, national, and international individuals and business organizations. Charles focuses on legal matters involving the Internet, technology, small businesses, and startups. In 2012, he launched Startup Radio.