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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 (21-30):
randi1978
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:51 AM
1 mom liked this

I think going after other account holders is a waste.  THEY didn't post the pics.  It was their ex and the site owners themselves. 

While I understand that nowadays you have to expect the unexpected when it comes to photos and the internet, I still think this crosses the line.  Just because they posed for a picture or video does not mean they have given consent to have it posted onto a site for millions to ogle.  And the person who owns the picture does not have the right to post it simply because it is their photo.

I do not think they have a case to go after other account users of the site, but they have a case against the site owner and the person who offered up the pics for upload in the first place.  And if it was done in secret without their knowledge (hidden camera), I think they have an even bigger case against the person who offered the pics to the site and possibly pursue even further criminal charges.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I am sure there are a good number...and more that probably have no idea they are on this site.

Blaming the women for being photographed or filmed is a form of slut shaming. Whether or not the women were willing to be filmed or photographed is beside the point IMO because these images are posted against their will or consent.


Quoting ejsmom4604:

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. 


North West Passage

Lottie925
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:55 AM
1 mom liked this

Horrible! This is one of the things I will drill into my child's mind. DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF YOURSELF NUDE, FILM YOURSELF HAVING SEX, OR TAKE PHONE PICS OF PRIVATES! It WILL come back to haunt you. 

Revenge from jilted men? That's sick. It encourages men to humiliate Women by exposing them sexually without permission.

lol @ "congratulations! You're a good person."

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:56 AM
6 moms liked this

If we approach this the same way we do child porn, then anyone in possession of it is guilty. The people who go to this site to ogle are informed that this is "revenge porn" and know full well that the women in the images did not consent.

We can successfully find and prosecute those who create, upload and download child porn, we should be able to prosecute those who do the same thing to women without their consent.

Quoting randi1978:

I think going after other account holders is a waste.  THEY didn't post the pics.  It was their ex and the site owners themselves. 

While I understand that nowadays you have to expect the unexpected when it comes to photos and the internet, I still think this crosses the line.  Just because they posed for a picture or video does not mean they have given consent to have it posted onto a site for millions to ogle.  And the person who owns the picture does not have the right to post it simply because it is their photo.

I do not think they have a case to go after other account users of the site, but they have a case against the site owner and the person who offered up the pics for upload in the first place.  And if it was done in secret without their knowledge (hidden camera), I think they have an even bigger case against the person who offered the pics to the site and possibly pursue even further criminal charges.


North West Passage

randi1978
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM
1 mom liked this

That is a good point.  Children are too young to consent, so their consent was never given (makes my skin crawl to use that kind of legality), so the same could apply to this situation. 

Quoting NWP:

If we approach this the same way we do child porn, then anyone in possession of it is guilty. The people who go to this site to ogle are informed that this is "revenge porn" and know full well that the women in the images did not consent.

We can successfully find and prosecute those who create, upload and download child porn, we should be able to prosecute those who do the same thing to women without their consent.

Quoting randi1978:

I think going after other account holders is a waste.  THEY didn't post the pics.  It was their ex and the site owners themselves. 

While I understand that nowadays you have to expect the unexpected when it comes to photos and the internet, I still think this crosses the line.  Just because they posed for a picture or video does not mean they have given consent to have it posted onto a site for millions to ogle.  And the person who owns the picture does not have the right to post it simply because it is their photo.

I do not think they have a case to go after other account users of the site, but they have a case against the site owner and the person who offered up the pics for upload in the first place.  And if it was done in secret without their knowledge (hidden camera), I think they have an even bigger case against the person who offered the pics to the site and possibly pursue even further criminal charges.



radioheid
by Libertarian on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM
6 moms liked this

 I detest victim-shaming. How disgusting to see it right here, in this post, from other women.


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

radioheid
by Libertarian on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM
1 mom liked this

 Exactly. No consent = sex crime.

Quoting randi1978:

That is a good point.  Children are too young to consent, so their consent was never given (makes my skin crawl to use that kind of legality), so the same could apply to this situation. 

Quoting NWP:

If we approach this the same way we do child porn, then anyone in possession of it is guilty. The people who go to this site to ogle are informed that this is "revenge porn" and know full well that the women in the images did not consent.

We can successfully find and prosecute those who create, upload and download child porn, we should be able to prosecute those who do the same thing to women without their consent.

Quoting randi1978:

I think going after other account holders is a waste.  THEY didn't post the pics.  It was their ex and the site owners themselves. 

While I understand that nowadays you have to expect the unexpected when it comes to photos and the internet, I still think this crosses the line.  Just because they posed for a picture or video does not mean they have given consent to have it posted onto a site for millions to ogle.  And the person who owns the picture does not have the right to post it simply because it is their photo.

I do not think they have a case to go after other account users of the site, but they have a case against the site owner and the person who offered up the pics for upload in the first place.  And if it was done in secret without their knowledge (hidden camera), I think they have an even bigger case against the person who offered the pics to the site and possibly pursue even further criminal charges.



 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:16 AM
1 mom liked this
Exactly. I was just about to say the same thing.

Disgusting.


Quoting radioheid:

 I detest victim-shaming. How disgusting to see it right here, in this post, from other women.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Lottie925
by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM
1 mom liked this


I assume this is not in reference to my post about telling my dd not to take pics or videos, because I don't blame the victims but do want my daughter to realize that there are scumbags out there.

Quoting krysstizzle:

Exactly. I was just about to say the same thing.

Disgusting.


Quoting radioheid:

 I detest victim-shaming. How disgusting to see it right here, in this post, from other women.



ejsmom4604
by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Exactly. Unless there is a signed agreement giving permission, it is wrong, and I believe illegal. 

Quoting NWP:

I am sure there are a good number...and more that probably have no idea they are on this site.

Blaming the women for being photographed or filmed is a form of slut shaming. Whether or not the women were willing to be filmed or photographed is beside the point IMO because these images are posted against their will or consent.


Quoting ejsmom4604:

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. 



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