Nonconsensual pornography, also commonly referred to as revenge porn, is the unlawful dissemination of intimate photos.
This form of cyberbullying is becoming an epidemic that is risking the safety of our children of all ages.
You may be surprised to find out this issue spans multiple age groups and affects youth from pre-teen through teenage and into their college years.
Today's youth, both male and female, are sharing intimate and personal photos of themselves with their peers via SMS and social media.
These photos are stolen from hacked phones by cybercriminals, or purposefully shared by 'former friends' of the youth.
In either case, the images end up on the internet in less than flattering posts designed to harass or intimidate.
We are not here to judge or embarrass the youths, they were victimized, and we only want to empower them to fight back.
Even seemingly innocent images such as a day at the beach with the family can be stolen from social media accounts and posted to underground websites on the dark web by cyber-perverts looking to prey on young and unsuspecting children.
When the teen discovers their personal and intimate images are being shared online, it can be emotionally devastating for them to know others are seeing those photos, and this realization haunts the victims for years.
Jessica is a recent college graduate from a prestigious American university with a degree in journalism. Graduating top of her class summa cum laude getting a job should be easy for her. As she began hitting the streets looking for employment, a ghost from her past came back to bite her.
A few years ago during the infamous "iCloud fappening hacks," online hackers stole thousands of photographs from hundreds of victims and posted them publically online. Because of an easily guessable password on her iCloud account, Jessica was also a victim
Included in the dump of photos were a few nude "selfie" photos taken in her bathroom mirror she saved on her iPhone five or six years ago. In fact, she took these photos so long ago; she completely forgot they were even in her photo library. She never shared them with anyone, yet now the entire world can see them.
While there were only four individual photos, they were shared countless times and posted across the internet; along with her twitter handle, Instagram user, and her full name. In total there were nearly 1,000 copies of her stolen nude photos online.
Rachel is your typical 14-year-old teenage girl living in rural America. She plays the trumpet in her high school marching band, gets straight A's in her classes, loves animals and dreams of becoming a veterinarian.
In school, she has a group of close friends and is generally liked by most of her peers. She even caught the eye of her school's star football player Eric when she still a freshman. He was her first boyfriend, and she was madly in love with him. The two were practically inseparable, and whenever they were forced to be physically apart, they would text each other all night long.
As their relationship blossomed, he encouraged her to send provocative photos of herself to him. At first they were simply bra & panty pictures, then it moved into topless, and finally full nude. She felt completely comfortable with him and enjoyed the thrill of taking these photos.
About a year into their relationship, Eric was convinced she was cheating on him. Rachel tried to explain she was only friends with this other boy, but Eric could not shake this feeling. As the school year continued, the two began to drift apart, and eventually, they broke up.
Natalie, a high school senior with a level of intelligence and sophistication that rivals many adults; this young lady is defiantly going somewhere in her life.
As the head cheerleader for her high school cheer squad, The Eagles, she took her responsibility to the sport seriously and practiced religiously.
With her love of cheer, Natalie created an Instagram account to show off her skills and teach other young girls. Every day she would post pictures of her doing cheers and videos showing step-by-step how she performed her act. Within weeks she became an instant hit on IG, earning thousands of followers and her posts regularly showed up as trending suggestions.
What Natalie did not know was a few cyber predators were lurking in the shadows and began downloading her pictures and sharing them with other creeps. To make things worse, these perverts digitally morphed her face onto nude pornographic photos and passed them off as her real nude photos, commonly referred to as "deep fakes."
Elijah is a smart 15-year-old boy that some would call a bit of a loner; he has a close group of friends at school but is not the most popular by any means. After graduation, he dreams of joining the US Marines like his father. He is a good kid, with strong morals, and his parents are very proud to have him as their son.
Having difficulty finding a girlfriend at his school, he decided to look online for affection and stumbled across an online social media app called Kik. On Kik, people can talk to random strangers and become friends with them.
Quickly Elijah made friends with a girl named Stephanie. She was 14 and lived a few hours away from him. Over a period of a few days, they both struck up a friendship and would chat every night into the wee hours of the morning.
Looking at Stephanie's profile picture, Elijah could see she was a brunette, with a pretty smile, and wore glasses. She was a little nerdy-looking, but in his eyes, she was beautiful. It did not take long, and Elijah was falling for Stephanie. She was the first girl ever to be attracted to him, and this filled him with excitement.
Late on a Saturday night, Stephanie asked Elijah for a picture of him without his shirt. He sent her one...
Meghan is a gifted and highly intelligent 12-year old living in Upstate New York, and for her birthday, she was given a brand new iPhone X. She loved this phone and all of the cool apps she could use. Having her own phone made her feel more mature and more like the woman she was becoming instead of the child she still was.
One of her favorite apps was an online social media live-streaming video service that allowed her to build star points. These stars or "diamonds" as they were referred to in the app could be converted into real-world money.
Using this app, she could live-stream herself and allow her friends and even strangers to watch her and "tip" her. Her first videos were simple and mostly involved her talking to people as they watched her do her homework. She would occasionally earn a few stars, but nothing much. Then one day, a random man asked her to lift her shirt and flash him. She knew she shouldn't do this, but figured "what's the harm?" She flashed him her bra and instantly received positive feedback from her audience. After some encouragement, she followed the directions of her audience and took off her shirt and bra, finishing the video out topless. She received numerous kudos and earned about $2 of real-world money.
Meghan was not very popular in school, and she enjoyed the attention of the guys online calling her beautiful...
At Cyberbully.watch, we provide educators, parents, law-enforcement officials, and lawyers with tools to combat this growing threat.
We know social media safety, and sexting can be a touchy subject to discuss with teens and their parents. The fact is photos initially intended for a close audience of friends can be stolen or otherwise shared online leading to online embarrassment and infliction of emotional pain.
Cyberbully.watch advocates for teens and their parents to sit down and take back their privacy and safety online.
Our tools spider social media sites, pornographic websites, photo sharing services, online dating websites, and even the dark web searching for photographs that may have been used in ways not intended by the persons in the picture.
Our tool is free for parents and schools to use to perform a quick search. If the photo you upload matches anything in our records, we automatically generate a case number for investigation. For the safety of all persons, we DO NOT provide the actual results back to un-vetted persons using our system; only verified lawyers and law enforcement investigators are empowered to unlock cases and purchase the full report. More details can be found in our Safety Pledge.
First, the most important thing to remember is your child is a victim. No matter how you feel about this situation, now is not the time to be accusatory or hostile. They may be unaware the photos exist. A few possible reasons include: they could have been stolen from a mobile device or covertly taken from a hacked webcam in the teen's bedroom. It is also common for teenagers to be a victim of blackmail, sometimes referred to as sextortion. Only a full investigation can determine the source of the photos.
If your child was a minor when the photos were taken, it is critical to inform law enforcement. Distribution of sexually explicit images of minors is illegal in the United States and may assist you in having them removed quicker.