I am a Victim of Revenge Porn and My Intimate Image is on Instagram, Facebook and Other Social Media: Removal, Takedown and Fighting Back

If you are a victim of Revenge Porn, Cyber Stalking, Online Harassment, Sextortion, or other victimization, not only is your ex-boyfriend, former girlfriend or whomever is posting your intimate images without your consent, trying to shame and torment you, but they are likely committing a crime and setting themselves up for a lawsuit they will not soon forget. What gives a harasser and stalker power is they believe that you, the victim of unlawful distribution or publication of your personal and sometimes explicit recordings, pictures and videos, will succumb to shame and humiliation instead of fighting back with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. He or she will use Revenge Porn as a means to strike at you from afar knowing that your anxiety will intensify every time you access Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, Youtube, Facebook, Tumblr, or any other social media platform. Whether your tormentor post videos of you engaged in sexual acts or more “tame” images of your naked body, know that you can potentially have these images not merely hidden or blocked, but removed from Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines. The lift may not be easy and you may have some work ahead, but when you are ready to hire a lawyer familiar with Revenge Porn and Sextortion crimes and statutes, the civil remedies to compensate you for your pain, the means to secure an Order of Protection, and ultimately the ability to remove copyrighted or explicit personal pictures from the internet by way of a DMCA Takedown or other method, you can put the Revenge Porn, Cyber Stalking and Online Harassment campaign against you in your rear view mirror.

Depending on the conduct of your victimizer, the taking of unlawful intimate images can violate the criminal code. In New York State, for example, one crime a person can face is Unlawful Surveillance, a felony, for the recording and another felony, Dissemination of an Unlawful Surveillance Image, for the sharing of the imagery. While these offense can also expose an accused to prison and registration as a sex offender, the crime is premised on a non-consensual recording at time one irrespective what occurs later. Somewhat different, in New York City, a distinct crime, albeit a misdemeanor offense, Unlawful Disclosure of an Intimate Image, New York City Administrative Code 10-177*3, not only establishes a criminal basis to prosecute Revenge Porn proliferators , but establishes a civil course of action to commence a lawsuit. The fact that is “only” a misdemeanor ignores the remedies it provides victims of Revenge Porn in New York City and that even if you initially consented to the taking of the picture or video, it is punishable for the holder of the imagery to use it as a sword to cause you pain and embarrassment.

Putting aside Federal, New York State, and New York City statutes that criminalize Online Harassment, Cyber Stalking and Revenge Porn, even if you are successful at stopping your abuser from posting anything further and securing a Restraining Order or Order of Protection, the question remains. How can you, if at all, remove offending images, videos, and other recordings from social media and the general internet? Fortunately, even though the law is still catching up to these criminal and cowardly attacks, you can protect yourself. Whether your Revenge Porn lawyers determine that they should file a DMCA Takedown Notice for what is the equivalent of your copyrighted picture or attorneys believe contacting the internet search engine or social media provider directly to remove pictures uploaded without your consent is a better or parallel approach, most of the main “players” from Google and Microsoft to Instagram and Facebook, will respect your attorney’s request with the proper foundation.

While a 600 some odd word blog entry will not answer all of your questions nor address all of your concerns, if you are a target or victim of Online Stalking, Cyber Harassment, Revenge Porn or even Sextortion, if you have the courage to stand up for yourself and seize power from the person or persons seeking to hurt you, and you damn well should, you can overcome your suffering and victimization. From building your own criminal case with a Cyber Stalking attorney and serving an abuser with a cease and desist letter or Restraining Order to filing a lawsuit and actively removing offending images from the internet through a DMCA Takedown or other method, you can flip the tables while getting the justice you deserve.

To learn more about Cyber Stalking, Revenge Porn, Sextortion and Online Harassment, follow the links above.

Crotty Saland PC, a criminal law firm representing victims of Revenge Porn and related offenses, serves clients throughout the New York City and New York State area. Prior to establishing the law practice, Crotty Saland PC’s two founding partners served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.