Revenge Sites

Revenge is big business.

    Revenge sites are websites where people upload sexually explicit images of other people where they are often maligned publicly, sometimes to the point of the victims committing suicide.

    Revenge site users are usually anonymous and seem to revel in their ability to cause pain. Personal information about the victims including addresses and telephone numbers are often uploaded. The comments can be devastating.

    To make matters worse, the site owners often charge victims to take down the photos. 

    Revenge site scams

    In order to profit, revenge sites have to stay in business. To do this they rely on a number of laws that are different in various regions and countries. But sometimes they run more than one site at once - one site to post revenge porn or other images, and another that charges money to take them down. The sites don't seem related, but they are working together like left and right hands. 

    Legal methods of removal

    Kevin Bollaert is an example of a person who got caught working both ends of the spectrum. But finding the owners of these sites, and tying them together is extremely difficult. 

    Some states outlaw revenge porn.

    States like California have outlawed revenge porn. It's called the California Non-Consensual Pornography Law and it's working

    Other methods of removal

    There are at least two other ways to get revenge porn removed. One is to work with the host of the site. Certain imagery is often banned in the Terms and Conditions of either a site or even the company that hosts the site. 

    Google may remove it

    Here is what Google says about removing revenge porn imagery:

    We remove only images or videos in which you personally appear that meet our requirements. So that we can help you, please make sure that your request meets these requirements:

    • You're nude or shown in a sexual act
    • You intended the content to be private and the imagery was made publicly available without your consent (for example, "revenge porn"), or 
    • You didn't consent to the act and the imagery was made publicly available without your consent

    Direct payment

    Unfortunately, depending on factors such as where you live, where the site is located, laws in the state, country or province in which either exist, whether you can prove non-consent to Google, etc., it may not be possible to remove the imagery without payment to an offending party. This is changing, but it hasn't completely. 

    Suppressing revenge images

    Another method that has worked well is the suppression of revenge imagery by creating lots of other content and then publishing it widely. In this case, imagery. The imagery is tagged and placed in the right publications, and then promoted using influencer outreach. This causes Google to reorganize search results to benefit the victim. 

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