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23 Women File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Revenge Porn Site

Posted by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:39 AM
  • 111 Replies


In what is likely the first case of its kind, 23 women have joined a class-action lawsuit against the “revenge porn” website Texxxan.com.

Not sure what revenge porn is? Congratulations, you’re a good person.

Revenge porn is what you get when jilted exes and one-time hookups submit photos and videos of their sexual exploits for public consumption. While some of the material on these sites has been stolen by strangers off of phones and computers, all of it has one big thing in common: The women in these photos and videos didn’t consent to share them.

Hollie Toups, a 32-year-old resident of Beaumont, Texas, is one of those women. In addition to signing on to the lawsuit, she publicly came forward to discuss her experience with revenge porn in an effort to encourage other women to do the same.

As she  told BetaBeat:

“I live in an extremely small town and the website was flooded with people that I knew,” Ms. Toups said. “Those of us on there go to the grocery store and everybody recognizes you. Not everybody says something, but you get a lot of like, ‘Hey, do I know you?’ or, ‘I recognize you from somewhere.’ But then you also get people that will just come out and say it.”

In addition to Texxxan.com, lawyers have also named Web hosting company GoDaddy.com in the suit:

“GoDaddy is profiting off of it,” said John S. Morgan, Ms. Toups’ lawyer. “The reality of it is at some level this issue of revenge porn has to become a public discussion and a legislative discussion and it raises issues of corporate responsibility. Why would an organization like GoDaddy want to give its name to this type of website?”

After discovering her photos on Texxxan.com, Toups contacted the site owner and asked him to remove them. “They replied and said they would be happy to remove the pictures for me if I would enter my credit card information,” she told BetaBeat. “I went from being depressed and embarrassed to being really pissed off.”

This kind of extortion is common with revenge porn sites, but Toups struggled to find a lawyer willing to represent her. After much searching, John S. Morgan, an attorney in Southeast Texas, agreed to help Toups build her case.

Many proprietors of revenge porn websites claim they are protected under  Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that websites are not liable for content submitted by users. Morgan argues that because these sites advertise their content as being posted without the subject’s consent, they aren’t protected by this law.

But it isn’t just the website that Morgan is after; he intends to sue all those who signed up for a subscription on Texxxan.com, paying a monthly fee to get access to more personal information of the women in the photos.

Toups is optimistic that justice will be served through the suit, but is also glad to be talking openly about a problem so many women face in secret:

“I’ve been trying to figure out why this happened,” Ms. Toups said. “Maybe it happened to me so I could help someone. Several of the girls that I’ve been in contact with have been suicidal and I feel like if I had reached them sooner they would not even have attempted that. I’m one of the older ones–most of them are younger–so I felt somebody has to start it. And I knew that once I did even the ones who were scared would end up coming out.”



by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:39 AM
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Replies (1-10):
motha2daDuchess
by Bruja on Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:53 AM

I have mixed feelings about this...

Goodwoman614
by Satan on Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:58 AM



Quoting motha2daDuchess:

I have mixed feelings about this...


??

motha2daDuchess
by Bruja on Jan. 24, 2013 at 4:06 AM
1 mom liked this

If you are going to pose for pictures then this is the worry you may have to deal with. The person in the picture may not have given permission, but the person that owned the pic did. This is why I don't take those. It is slimy on the guy's half to post them, but I don't see trying to also sue people that have accounts on those sites....I don't know. I don't see anything wrong with taking them if you want, but there is one of those think about the long term consequences

Quoting Goodwoman614:



Quoting motha2daDuchess:

I have mixed feelings about this...


??


angel_eyez
by Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 4:10 AM
2 moms liked this
Good for them. I have nothing against porn. I actually like it but I think it is wrong to post things without someones consent. I hope they win.
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radioheid
by Libertarian on Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:46 AM
14 moms liked this
Consent was neither given, nor implied, as the sole purpose of this site is humiliation of the victim *because she did NOT give consent*. This is not protected "speech", and consenting to a photo is not consenting to be published without a written agreement.
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radioheid
by Libertarian on Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:57 AM
7 moms liked this
Often these pictures and videos are taken with a hidden camera. Other times they are given to a partner with specific instructions to destroy them at a later time. Or, they are given with the agreement that no one else will see them. Under all of these circumstances, publishing the photos without the subject's consent is criminal, especially in the first scenario. It is an invasion of privacy at the very least, a sex crime at worst, and should be punished. My little sister was secretly videotaped and posted on one of these websites, and she was suicidal after she found out. Someone sent a link to OUR DAD. Oh - and husbands do it, too. You aren't even safe with a ring on your finger. These sites are chock full of seedy spouses.

Quoting motha2daDuchess:

If you are going to pose for pictures then this is the worry you may have to deal with. The person in the picture may not have given permission, but the person that owned the pic did. This is why I don't take those. It is slimy on the guy's half to post them, but I don't see trying to also sue people that have accounts on those sites....I don't know. I don't see anything wrong with taking them if you want, but there is one of those think about the long term consequences

Quoting Goodwoman614:




Quoting motha2daDuchess:

I have mixed feelings about this...



??


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:58 AM
1 mom liked this

I had to look.. all 23 woman are Flagged on the site for the Lawsuit (its on their pictures) While I am torn I also feel that if your going to pose for, or send these kinds of pictures outside of a professional capacity then your opening yourself up to have them spread all over the world wide net.

EVEN if these woman win those pictures will NEVER go away.. They are downloaded and re shared by Millions of people. They loose whether they win or not.

for me the moral of this story is DONT Pose Naked for anyone outside of a professional capacity.

*edited*

I would Like to note I said outside a Professional Capacity for a reason. The implied and applied is within the contract most of the time. In many cases young woman don't read the fine print and are screwed over by pictures they did and didn't realize they gave permission for (Thinking back on Miss Cali a few years ago when her underage "lingerie" resurfaced along with other things almost costing her everything)

lga1965
by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:16 AM
1 mom liked this

 This is bizarre and seems to reflect what is happening to people now. They are becoming amoral and narcissistic and cruel. First of all----why have a picture taken of you naked anyway? It is not a good sign and could mean you are an exhibitionist .That's something  most average people don't do and I would never have done or never will. Even at my best weight and sexiest figure, I would never have allowed anyone to do it, not even DH. Hidden cameras? What kind of people do you know who would do that?

 Its everyone's fault-the person whose nude picture is posted and the person who posts it at the incredibly crass and idiotic site. How can these women win ?are they really that naive to think what they did was innocent and wouldn't someday get them in trouble? Will they sue on the basis of being ignorant?I suppose they will win but it seems so obvious that they were using pooor judgement.

celticwych
by Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:38 AM
6 moms liked this

 This kind of thinking reminds me of someone saying "she deserved to get raped or she asked for it wearing short shorts and revealing clothes.   Just because YOUR not comfortable with it doesnt mean everyone is or should be.  Im def. not comfortable with my picture being taken with clothes on let alone off.  My insecurities doesnt mean everyone else is wrong.  It def. takes more guts then I have but just becuase you pose for your boyfriend doesnt mean your exibitionist.  It means they trusted him. Just because someone has poor judgement doesnt make it okay for someone else to take advantage.  The people that posted these videos and pictures should be held accountable period.  Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is and to me they deserve to pay for there bad decision of posting just like the girls are paying for there bad decision of trusting someone with there naked bodies.

Quoting lga1965:

 This is bizarre and seems to reflect what is happening to people now. They are becoming amoral and narcissistic and cruel. First of all----why have a picture taken of you naked anyway? It is not a good sign and could mean you are an exhibitionist .That's something  most average people don't do and I would never have done or never will. Even at my best weight and sexiest figure, I would never have allowed anyone to do it, not even DH. Hidden cameras? What kind of people do you know who would do that?

 Its everyone's fault-the person whose nude picture is posted and the person who posts it at the incredibly crass and idiotic site. How can these women win ?are they really that naive to think what they did was innocent and wouldn't someday get them in trouble? Will they sue on the basis of being ignorant?I suppose they will win but it seems so obvious that they were using pooor judgement.

 

lga1965
by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:57 AM
Yes its obvious that they should pay for what they did. A website like that is sick. Revenge? That's. Horrible.
But still I question the decision to pose nude for anyone. I think its risky and is poor judgment. Pose without having a picture taken. What happened to being modest? Self respect?


Quoting celticwych:

 This kind of thinking reminds me of someone saying "she deserved to get raped or she asked for it wearing short shorts and revealing clothes.   Just because YOUR not comfortable with it doesnt mean everyone is or should be.  Im def. not comfortable with my picture being taken with clothes on let alone off.  My insecurities doesnt mean everyone else is wrong.  It def. takes more guts then I have but just becuase you pose for your boyfriend doesnt mean your exibitionist.  It means they trusted him. Just because someone has poor judgement doesnt make it okay for someone else to take advantage.  The people that posted these videos and pictures should be held accountable period.  Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is and to me they deserve to pay for there bad decision of posting just like the girls are paying for there bad decision of trusting someone with there naked bodies.


Quoting lga1965:


 This is bizarre and seems to reflect what is happening to people now. They are becoming amoral and narcissistic and cruel. First of all----why have a picture taken of you naked anyway? It is not a good sign and could mean you are an exhibitionist .That's something  most average people don't do and I would never have done or never will. Even at my best weight and sexiest figure, I would never have allowed anyone to do it, not even DH. Hidden cameras? What kind of people do you know who would do that?


 Its everyone's fault-the person whose nude picture is posted and the person who posts it at the incredibly crass and idiotic site. How can these women win ?are they really that naive to think what they did was innocent and wouldn't someday get them in trouble? Will they sue on the basis of being ignorant?I suppose they will win but it seems so obvious that they were using pooor judgement.


 

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