How to Remove Revenge Porn from the Internet

Studies have shown nearly 10 million Americans have been threatened by posting revenge porn or intimate photos shared by another person. Any intentional distribution of lewd images or videos without consent could be considered as revenge porn. In many states, the posting of these images or recordings does not necessarily need to be vengeful. You could be still dating the person who has posted the pictures online, or the person could be posting the photos or videos online for money. Here’s how to remove revenge porn from the internet.

Pride Legal has represented countless victims of revenge porn. Pride Legal has worked with and fought many prominent revenge porn sites, as well as search engines, to get these posts removed, and to have the perpetrator dealt with by the law.

Several laws have been enacted to protect those whose nude photos were publicized without their consent. For example, Stephanie’s law was passed in 2003 when a landlord placed a hidden camera in a woman’s bedroom, subsequently selling the pictures and videos of her online. The court was only able to charge the landlord with trespassing, but the victim pushed for Stephanie’s law to be passed. Under Stephanie’s law, those with a “reasonable expectation of privacy” are protected under law and perpetrators can be prosecuted.

What Defines “Revenge Porn” In California?

Within the US, 41 states have enacted revenge porn laws. To be charged under this law in California, one must:

  • Have distributed images or videos in which the victim is identifiable AND
  • Must have the intention to cause serious emotional distress or harm AND
  • The victim had actually suffered distress

For the first offense, the consequence is up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. If the victim is under the age of 18, the perpetrator may be charged with distributing child pornography. As well as being charged under this law, the defendant may also be charged with cybercrimes, sex crimes, and crimes in accordance with any laws that may have been broken. There are three charges that could be filed against a person who posts revenge porn, which include the Unauthorized Distribution of Private image, Harassment by means of Electronic Device, and Unauthorized Use of an Electric Device. A defendant could receive up to one year and six months of jail time.

Unfortunately, about one in twenty-five Americans have been threatened or directly attacked by having their photos or videos shared. However, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative also alarmingly found out that 90% of their surveyed victims were women.

Federal Revenge Porn Laws

As the use of the internet increases across all demographics of Americans, unwanted or harmful material continues to spread. Currently, there are no federal laws pertaining to revenge porn. Due to the Communications Decency Act that was passed in 1996, porn sites are protected from being liable for this content. However, porn sites are still required to be liable for revenge porn that is underage. On the other hand, within a majority of state governments, there are laws pertaining to nonconsensual porn laws. Currently, there are only four states that do not have such laws. These states include Mississippi, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

What Can Pride Legal Do?

Pride Legal is here to help anyone who has fallen victim to revenge porn. Whether the photos or videos were posted online or sent to friends, our attorneys are able to bring justice to the victim. If the photos and videos are posted online, copyright claims can be sent to the sites to force the sites to take them down. With the rise of OnlyFans, many people have been having their content stolen and posted elsewhere online for free, which is against the law. Pride Legal will force a takedown of all photos and videos regarding the victim. If the photos are being sent to friends and other people, subpoenas could be filed for the defendant’s phone to have it reviewed and all the photos deleted. Some compensation a victim could receive from a revenge porn suit could include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

Revenge Porn During the Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a large influx in internet traffic due to the stay-at-home order and quarantining. A larger amount of people of all ages have been accessing the internet more across the board. Along with that, people have been had to deal with staying away from their partners. The voluntary sharing of pornographic images and videos has been increasing as more and more people are staying online. There have been cases of women having to deal with revenge porn throughout the pandemic and even through their high school graduations, and unfortunately, because of the pandemic, some of the cases have been put at a halt. Since there are many more people accessing the internet, there becomes an increased risk of revenge porn videos circulating throughout the web, and collecting till it is near impossible to get rid of.

Oftentimes, these private and intimate photos and videos were not intended for the general public. Having intimate and personal videos shared like that without consent could impact one’s mental health, cause stress, the feeling of humiliation, the feeling of loss of control, and also impact how others would view that person (especially future employers). Many victims and their family members are stalked and/or harassed by the perpetrator or anonymous people online. It is a violation of trust and privacy, and it can have an adverse effect on your future. Revenge porn postings can jeopardize future relationships and future job opportunities. A study from the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative found that Around 93% of victims spread across all sexes have reported suffering from emotional discomfort as a result of revenge porn, and 51% of them reported having suicidal thoughts. If intimate photos or videos get shared online, it is imperative one takes action immediately, as other people could download and spread the content elsewhere. Pride Legal is versed in sending takedown notices to multiple sites at once, ensuring that all photos or videos are removed.

How Can I Get These Photos Removed?

Fighting big revenge porn companies is difficult. Oftentimes, sites will not remove content without formal notice from a lawyer. Porn sites do not ban revenge porn make generous revenue from these types of videos, and will often do everything in their power to protect their assets. With Pride Legal by your side, our attorneys will send formal Copyright notices to all sites and search engines that include your name or any identifiable pictures/videos. Your face, body, and any identifiable marks could be enough to establish your rights to the photo or video. Pride Legal will send notices to have all of these photos or videos taken down, and if the sites refuse, our attorneys will go to court on your behalf to get them removed. Search engines like Google or Bing allow others to search up your name and things related to you; only to sometimes find personal pictures that should not be online without your consent. Pride Legal will contact these search engines to have your nonconsensual data taken down.

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one has been a victim of revenge porn, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.