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FTC Revenge Porn Guidelines

Guidance From The FTC On What To Do If You Are The Target Of Revenge Porn


On January 11, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission release guidance on “What to do if you’re the target of revenge porn.” The guidance comes following the FTC and the state of Nevada’s recent announcement that they had charged parties responsible for a revenge porn site with violating federal and state law.

There, the FTC and Nevada alleged that the website, MyEx.com, is dedicated solely to revenge porn and has solicited intimate pictures and videos of victims, together with their personal information such as their name, address, employer, and social media account information. According the Commission, the site urged visitors to “Add Your Ex,” and to “Submit Pics and Stories of Your Ex.” In numerous instances, the defendants purportedly charged victims fees from $499 to $2,800 to remove their images and information from the site.

“MyEx.com uses reprehensible tactics to profit off of the intimate details of individuals’ private lives,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “People who were featured on this site suffered real harm, including the loss of money they paid to remove intimate images and personal information, loss of jobs, and being subject to threats and harassment.”

If any intimate image of you has been shared without consent, or an image you shared with someone is shared further than you intended, countless people are affected by “revenge porn,” or non-consensual pornography.

If this has happened to you, the FTC suggests:

  • Following the steps in the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s Online Removal Guide. To get your image taken down, you will need to report it to the platform it is on. The guide covers what to consider before you report, what to expect, documenting the post and then how to report it on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • There are laws against revenge porn in 38 states, plus the District of Columbia. Check to see if there’s one where you live, and then decide whether you want to talk with local law enforcement. If you do, be sure to tell law enforcement if your situation might involve domestic violence, cyberstalking, or child pornography.
  • You could also consult with an FTC defense attorney. There are laws that might be able to help you get your images taken down.
  • The FTC warns that if you are thinking about hiring a takedown service, make sure you know what you are getting. Find out what they promise to do to take your image down, and whether you can do that yourself for free. Find out how much they will charge, and whether it’s a one-time charge, or recurring – and for how long.
  • If you experienced non-consensual pornography, need help or advice, and you live in the U.S., you can also call the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s crisis hotline: 844-878-CCRI (2274).

If you are the victim of non-consensual pornography, consider the FTC’s guidance by taking the steps above – and then inform the Federal Trade Commission if a company posts your image without your consent and refuses to remove it.

Richard B. Newman is an FTC defense lawyer at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements.

ADVERTISING MATERIAL. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. No person should act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney. Information on previous case results does not guarantee a similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35thFloor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Visual Content Flickr via Compfight cc

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