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23 Women File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Revenge Porn Site

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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
Replies (11-20):
rfurlongg
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM
2 moms liked this
If the website does not have their consent, they should not be posting the videos, or allowing exs to do so.

Unfortunately, if they win the suit and shut down texxxan.com, their nightmare will not be over. Once on the web, always on the web.

When my children are old enough I will be discussing with them dangers of creating these types of videos.
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Emilytrademark
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM
1 mom liked this

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


Dammit!

 BabyFruit Ticker
Emilytrademark
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:09 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't think they can really get anything from those who signed up as subscribers, but in addition to the website, they should be able to sue those who posted the photos.

 BabyFruit Ticker
Woodbabe
by Woodie on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Interesting concept. The internet has changed so much about society. Posting personal information about people with guns, and now posting pictures of women having sex. It could be said that these women weren't breaking the law by taking pictures during sex (which also is not illegal) so posting their pictures isn't illegal. Do we HAVE an expected right to privacy? Just because something is legal, is it right?

survivorinohio
by René on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

My exhusband has photos of me that I have always feared would end up published somewhere.

Was it wise to allow him to take them, no but he was my husband and I was very young.  We did destroy the photos together during our divorce but he also made sure to let me know, years later, he kept his favorites,  Creepy SOB! 

Anyhow I get why they are suing.

momto3B
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

A revenge porn site can only exist because innumberable numbers of people are still stupid enough to allow themselves to be filmed/photographed having sex. 

Unless you are Kim Kardashian and want to launch a career, realize that every photo or CD can be used against you. 

celticwych
by Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:28 AM
1 mom liked this

 Being modest is a sign of self respect for you and I understand and respect this.   It doesnt mean someone else is not a moral upstanding person because they dont have the same modesty that you do.  The old thoughts that women must be controlled and kept in there place because there sexuality leads to wanton and wicked acts is taking a back seat to self respect.  How you deem self respect is just that "SELF respect".     I was brought up that womens bodies were naughty and must be covered and it was okay for a man to run around in a speedo or there tighty whities. Society has some pretty biased thoughts on the naked body though I see it coming around slowly. 

As I mentioned its not for me, and I hope my girls are secure enough not to make mistakes this way.  Ive done my best to raise them to be proud and respect themselves first and foremost.  Even if  decide to do something like pose for the flavor of the month in there life, it doesnt give that said person the right to exploit there private moments and they most def. should be help accountable for making the choice of exposing someone elses body in a public forum.  The website should be taken down. 

Quoting lga1965:

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.


 

 

lga1965
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:32 AM
1 mom liked this
I wasn't brought up to think that women's bodies were bad. Lol. I'm just not going to share it ......

Quoting celticwych:

 Being modest is a sign of self respect for you and I understand and respect this.   It doesnt mean someone else is not a moral upstanding person because they dont have the same modesty that you do.  The old thoughts that women must be controlled and kept in there place because there sexuality leads to wanton and wicked acts is taking a back seat to self respect.  How you deem self respect is just that "SELF respect".     I was brought up that womens bodies were naughty and must be covered and it was okay for a man to run around in a speedo or there tighty whities. Society has some pretty biased thoughts on the naked body though I see it coming around slowly. 


As I mentioned its not for me, and I hope my girls are secure enough not to make mistakes this way.  Ive done my best to raise them to be proud and respect themselves first and foremost.  Even if  decide to do something like pose for the flavor of the month in there life, it doesnt give that said person the right to exploit there private moments and they most def. should be help accountable for making the choice of exposing someone elses body in a public forum.  The website should be taken down. 


Quoting lga1965:

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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ejsmom4604
by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Good for these women suing. I wonder how many of them DIDN'T know they were being filmed? Sure still pictures they probably knew about, but the movies? My guess is most didn't know it was happening. 

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM
2 moms liked this

I hope these ladies win. We are in a formative time with social media and the Internet. It cannot exist as a purely lawless environment IMO. We need to be able to have some ownership of our own images, especially when they are posted with malice. People should not be allowed to profit from this...I am just unsure of how we can police this.

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