Revenge Porn: The New Destructive Social Media Threat

Oct 08, 2013

Tags: , , ;

One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people

(reprint from www.pornharms.com)

In January 2009, one of Holly’s friends told her that someone had posted her nude photo on her own Facebook profile. Less than 2 years later, a collection of her nude photos went viral across more than 200 websites, including a secret recording of an explicit webcam chat she had. Even worse, the posts included her first and last name, email address, and the name of the university where she works.  She later was forced to tell her employer, the university, of her dilemma.

Holly was a victim of “revenge porn,” a distressing social media phenomenon where offended suitors post intimate photos of their ex-lovers on the Internet for all to see. Holly had a long-distance relationship with a boyfriend for over 3 years. To keep her relationship active, she felt compelled to send nude and intimate photos of herself to her distant boyfriend. When the relationship went sour and the breakup occurred, nude photos of Holly began to show up on the Internet. 

Holly struggled for months as she tried to get the photos deleted, changed her phone number various times, and quit the university job she loved. She eventually had to legally change her name. It was a difficult process, and she felt dehumanized by the sexual solicitations she received daily. She recalls it as being such a dark part of her life that she even considered suicide. 

Holly has since decided to get revenge on revenge porn by creating her own website, www.endrevengeporn.org, which gets around 1,200 hits a day. Women and men around the world in similar circumstances can find help and counsel at her website as well as contacts for local officials to enact laws preventing revenge porn. 

Revenge porn is emotionally distressing because in most circumstances the victim is betrayed by a loved one, but no matter how destructive revenge porn is, it only affects you if you make yourself susceptible to it. 

What should you do?

  • Don't take explicit photos of yourself. You may not always have control of your phone or computer.
  • If you have taken explicit photos or videos, delete them immediately.
  • If you have shared explicit photos, ask the recipient to delete the images immediately (while your relationship is on solid ground).

Young teens are most likely to fall into the trap of revenge porn, as most have a limited concept of the future consequences when sharing pics and videos.   

Talk with your child and advise them of the dangers they could face by sending intimate pictures or videos. One great way to monitor the images your child is posting on social media websites is Net Nanny Social, which gives parents the ability to monitor their child’s friends, pictures, and posts on seven social networks.

I work for Net Nanny and all my opinions are my own.