Most states passed a form of nonconsensual-porn litigation, commonly known as revenge porn, by August 2015. While legislators made new laws, tech companies made new policies.
The major tech companies became the latest allies for revenge porn opponents, making it easier than before to report content and limit its exposure or have it removed altogether.
Despite many social media platforms and apps having policies and community guidelines against the release of nude photographs, content still appears – and it isn’t taken down instantaneously.
If you’ve found yourself a victim of nonconsensual porn, here are some steps you can take to have the unauthorized content removed.
Take a screen shot of the content
You are going to need proof that the content was posted and not by you.
Take a screenshot of the URL
While search engines agreed to ‘de-index,’ meaning it won’t show up in search results, this kind of content, it can still be accessed through a URL. So while someone may not be able to type your name in a search engine and find the explicit images, if they have access to the URL, this whole thing could start all over. Plus, if you can provide the URL, it’s further proof of the crime.
As Carrie Goldberg, a leading revenge porn attorney told The New Yorker, in nonconsensual-porn cases “the proof of the crime is the crime.”
Locate policies/community guidelines where the picture was posted
You want to know what the policy or guidelines are within that community and who you should contact within the company to get all photos removed. The quicker you are to do this, the more you will limit exposure – decreasing the chance of a photo going viral or being saved on personal computers.
Contact your local police and file a police report
To date, 34 states and the District of Columbia have nonconsensual-porn laws. Several states have both criminal and civil laws against the dissemination of intimate visual material.
If your state doesn’t have a law and the photos aren’t coming down and you took the photograph, you can file a notice of copyright infringement.
According to The New Yorker: “The copyright on a picture that somebody else snaps of you—even with your cell phone, at your request—theoretically belongs to him or her, but you can apply to register the copyright under your name. Using copyright law to combat revenge porn is a bit like using tax law to go after Al Capone, but copyright is one of the only restrictions that the Internet respects.”
Think about changing your privacy and security settings on your accounts
It’s likely the content that was posted wasn’t stolen but taken by a former person you were intimate with. If you shared nude photos, is there a chance you shared your password to any of your accounts? Be safe and limit their access to hurting you any further.
If none of this helps, consider hiring a lawyer
There aren’t many lawyers who strictly focus on revenge porn. Carrie Goldberg of Goldberg LLC is a pioneer in the industry. Bradley Shear of Shear Law focuses on social media and privacy law. Other lawyers to consider are those who focus on child abuse, sexual harassment or internet crimes.