5 Reasons We're Having Big Problems Stopping Revenge Porn

We're guessing everyone reading this has at some point ... benefited from the Internet's massive and well-documented porn collection, which dwarfs the closet of that creepy kid we knew in high school. (But thank you for the Penthouses, creepy kid!) Everyone loves Internet porn. Except, of course, if that porn is of you and was put there without your consent -- like by an ex or a hacker. The fact that there are "revenge porn" websites specifically devoted to posting people's nudes against their will is terrifying, and if you find yourself as one of their victims, what can you do to stop it?

Even though there are now laws to stop revenge porn and some websites have posted a zero-tolerance policy, the answer is still "not much." And that's because ...

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5
There's No Technology For Preventing Revenge Porn From Being Uploaded

5 Reasons We're Having Big Problems Stopping Revenge PornAndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images, shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

Let's say every porn site in the world has a Grinch heart-boner moment and decides, "Fuck it, we're not letting people upload revenge porn ever again." How would they even be able to tell? The sad truth is that until we live in a Minority Report society where we can catch criminals before they are able to upload other people's nudes, there is no way to stop it from happening. The chances of a technology being created that could filter out revenge porn from friendly, run-of-the-mill pictures of genitals and boobies aren't very good, unless bald kids with psychic powers are born within the next decade.

And they're absolute perverts.Kenny McLeish/iStock/Getty ImagesAnd they're absolute perverts.

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And, no, "Just don't take nude pictures of yourself!" isn't a solution, wise guy. The fact that people share intimate photos with loved ones isn't the problem here -- if you'd deny a Marine stationed overseas the chance to wank to his or her boo, you objectively hate freedom. The real problem is that even when it comes to the grossest of the gross the Internet has to offer, there's just no way to stop it from being uploaded. In fact, about 50,000 child porn pictures are shared every single fucking day because we sadly only have a very limited way of tracking it and taking it down. Illegal images can only be detected after they're already online and only if law enforcement already has an image to match it with; otherwise they wouldn't know what to search for.

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The only hope we have of preventing revenge porn from being uploaded is to make the punishment so severe it hinders people from being tempted to do it in the first place. Of course, that still wouldn't stop people from seeking it out, because ...

4
America Has A Cultural Fascination With Voyeurism

5 Reasons We're Having Big Problems Stopping Revenge PornMedioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

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So, we can't stop revenge porn from being uploaded in the first place, but surely we can let people know that it's not cool to look at it, right? Just ask Jennifer Lawrence how that works out.

Fact: At least a few of you can't look her in the eye without feeling guilty anymore.Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty ImagesFact: At least a few of you can't look her in the eye without feeling guilty anymore.

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The truth is, there will always be people willing to look, because the Internet at large is obsessed with voyeurism, turning even innocent things into X-rated breeding grounds. If you don't believe us, type "rule 34" into Google (THIS IS A JOKE, PLEASE DON'T).

What's the first thing that springs to mind when you think about Chatroulette, the site that lets you video chat with a random stranger online? If your first thought wasn't "dicks galore," then you obviously haven't been on the Internet long. In fact, it's gotten so out of hand that Andrey Ternovskiy, Chatroulette's creator who started the site with only the best PG-rated intentions, had to step in and add a button to report perverts. He admits he is embarrassed about how his site has become synonymous with schlong shows and said he wants a "clean site." Which sounds incredibly naive of him, but to be fair, he was just a kid when he created the site.

His business card just says Oh God, I didn't know. I didn't know.via peoples.ruHis business card just says "Oh God, I didn't know. I didn't know."

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What's truly amazing is that, despite no advertising being done on Ternovskiy's part, Chatroulette nearly exploded overnight, going from 500 daily visitors to 50,000 in just a month. We were inexplicably drawn to its innovativeness, then jumped at the chance to turn it into voyeur porn. Even more disturbing is that the dick-exposers of Chatroulette apparently aren't under some delusion that everyone loves a fat guy's tiny dong -- they actually enjoy knowing they are inflicting their salami swords on non-consenting eyes.

And if you think the trend of latching onto something and turning it into voyeur porn was a fluke with Chatroulette, prepare to be disappointed: It happened again. The PlayStation 4 has many exciting, new features associated with its built-in camera, one of them being the PlayStation Playroom, which had the intended use of recording gamers as they play while being watched by a small robot for some reason. Guess how people used it instead.

They could at least have the decency to pass the poor robot a beer.kotaku.comThey could at least have the decency to pass the poor robot a beer.

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Naturally, it didn't take long until some asshat turned the Playroom into revenge porn, undressing his unconscious wife for anyone who happened to be watching their livestream to see. Of course, this news story took off like a wildfire, becoming an even bigger story than the Playroom itself. The outcry that followed brought even more attention to revenge porn, which brings us to ...

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3
Even If The Sites Are Shut Down, The Victims Are Still Screwed

5 Reasons We're Having Big Problems Stopping Revenge Pornkieferpix/iStock/Getty Images

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Hey, remember when Beyonce made this face at the Super Bowl?

The face worn later that night by many a Niners fan.via latintimes.comThe face worn later that night by many a Niners fan.

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Of course you do, specifically because she tried to have her lawyers take those pictures down, causing the media and public to only want to view and circulate them more. Hell, we're doing it right now. Once someone tries to avert attention from something, a little thing called the Streisand effect comes into play -- trying to have something removed after the fact only draws more attention to it, especially if you're famous, and especially if it's on the Internet.

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With revenge porn, the problem becomes even worse, because the sites are actually going out of their way to create a Streisand effect and cash in on it. For instance, the creator of revenge porn website Ugotposted.com, Kevin Bollaert, didn't just post nude images and videos of women sent in by ex-lovers, he also included their real names, Facebook pages, and sometimes even their home addresses. When the women tried to have their images removed, he would oblige, but only after charging them a fee of $350, because that's the type of stand-up guy he is.

Now everyone knows his address, too.ABC 10 NewsNow everyone knows his address, too.

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Another webmaster who is intimately familiar with this effect is Craig Brittain, creator of the revenge porn site IsAnybodyDown.com, which also extorted women. After being arrested and exposed as an absolute jerk, Brittain felt like his privacy was being invaded and sent Google takedown notices for the sites that published images of his face. Like this one:

Man, the gritty Eddie Munster reboot sucked.Colorado Springs Police DepartmentMan, the gritty Eddie Munster reboot sucked.

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Unfortunately, the fact that both these guys have been charged with crimes provides little reparation or comfort to the victims who already had their lives ruined. Once the offending images or videos are online, the damage has been done, and deleting the sites doesn't mean they're gone forever -- as we all know, the Internet never forgets. Of course, this is assuming you even manage to get the asshole convicted in the first place ...

2
Prosecuting Revenge Pornographers Is A Legal Clusterfuck

5 Reasons We're Having Big Problems Stopping Revenge PornThinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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So we know the only way to catch revenge porn criminals is after they've already posted it, but hey, at least we can catch them, right? Unfortunately, navigating the law when it comes to revenge porn is about as simple as ... well, navigating the law under any other circumstances.

Simply put, things get murky as fuck. While Reddit now claims they will take down any instance of revenge porn that is posted on their site, the rules as to what can be taken down and under what circumstances are unclear. What lengths will the victim of the revenge porn have to go to prove it was uploaded without consent and have it removed? Will they have to provide boob shots to prove it's even them?

Does she have any weird birthmarks down there? That would help a lot.moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images"Does she have any weird birthmarks down there? That would help a lot."

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And while in 2013 California took a small step by enacting a law that deems any distribution of nude videos or pictures with the intent of causing harm as disorderly conduct, First Amendment advocates were worried it would hinder their right to bear lawful nudes. Other people wonder: What is the exact definition of revenge porn? Would a teenager who tweeted a picture of Kate's Uptons from the nude celebrity hack count? People fear that having the law too broad, without precise lines, will lead to over-criminalization and in turn no one will end up being prosecuted because then nearly everyone would be guilty. And then we might as well legalize The Purge.

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While California is the first state to take a stand against revenge porn, we shouldn't get too excited about other states following suit or any federal laws coming into play. For example, the Supreme Court struck down a law banning crush porn, citing free speech. If you've never heard of "crush porn," consider yourself a lucky bastard. Let's just say it involves women's high heels and very small, vulnerable animals.

Those shoes were white.Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesThose shoes were white.

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The law, which would have banned the trafficking of any videos that depicted the bloodshed and torture of animals, was deemed too "broad." Some people were afraid it would outlaw bullfighting or hunting videos, and what would the Internet be without those?

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1
The Internet Has Cultivated A False Sense Of Entitlement

5 Reasons We're Having Big Problems Stopping Revenge Pornkonglinguang/iStock/Getty Images

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Brittain isn't the only revenge porn fan who thinks he's actually the victim. Believe it or not, assholes who lurk in the deepest corners of the Internet (or in broad sight on Reddit) actually think they are entitled to view revenge porn, that watching it is their right. In response to Reddit's new regulations, many users have spoken out against the "unfairness." As written eloquently by a gentleman under the name "penisfuckermcgee":

What would Mother Fucker McGee think?RedditWhat would Mother Fucker McGee think?



Yes, they actually believe not being able to violate someone else's rights is a violation of their own. And the most terrible thing on Reddit isn't people being irked they can't wank to revenge porn; they have subreddits dedicated to illegal sex crimes and activities, such as leaving a salty protein shake on a female co-worker's shoes. Take a gander, but be sure to have a barf bag nearby:

At least we keep the regular, amateur 'creepshots' separate from 'gfcreepshots.'
Have to have standards, dammit.Reddit"At least we keep the regular, amateur 'creepshots' separate from 'gfcreepshots.' Have to have standards, dammit."

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And the list goes on:

Not you too, /r/baguettesinbutts!RedditNot you too, /r/baguettesinbutts!



Before you attempt to console yourself with the thought that the subscriber base for these subreddits must be small: Each one actually has hundreds if not thousands of subscribers.

As long as there are still places like those on the Internet allowing people to anonymously share disturbing content, there will always be people feeling entitled to illegal activity and believing it falls under free speech. Anyway, here's a picture of kittens playing in the grass to cheer you up.

Man, the gritty Eddie Munster reboot sucked.Colorado Springs Police DepartmentMan, the gritty Eddie Munster reboot sucked.

Whoops, wrong pic.

Also be sure to read 5 Horrifying Ways An Ex Can Ruin Your Life With Nude Photos and 7 Hilariously Predictable Porn Trends From Across The Globe

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