“Sexting” – the act of sharing explicit messages and/or photographs – is a phenomenon which was made popular by the younger generation due to their extensive use of text messages or, “texting”. The act of sexting in the majority of cases, originates from consent whereby an individual will provide a trusted partner and/or friend an image of themselves in an intimate or sexually suggestive position. It is when the image/video of this person is again shared without their knowledge or consent that it can lead to serious consequences such as bullying, embarrassment and in some cases, suicide.
The law will have a strong focus towards educating the youth about the dangers of sexting and ensure youths who are found to be sexting do not face child pornography charges or placed on the sex offender registry.
While “sexting” is clearly an issue among the younger generation, it is also just as prevalent within the adult community. At Online Investigations Pty Ltd, we as private investigators regularly assist adults who have found their private images posted online without their consent, typically as a result of a breakdown of a relationship. Other instances include being taped without their consent during an intimate webcam session and having a device containing their personal images being ‘hacked’ into or stolen.
Online Investigations Pty Ltd applauds the Victorian State government for recognising the importance of introducing this law which will be introduced into parliament next year. Penalties will also be decided at this time.
So what can you do if you find unwanted images of yourself online? Online Investigations provides our top tips:
1. If posted on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc – Delete the image if posted on your own page. If posted on another individual’s page ensure you immediately ‘detag’ yourself and contact the person to ask them to remove the image. Most sites such as Facebook also offer a report feature to request assistance in the removal of the image.
2. If posted on your own social media or website and is also showing up on search engine results – Firstly, ensure the offending image is deleted from your site. If it is still being returned on Google you can either wait for Google to crawl the website again or you can expediate the process via a content removal request.
3. If you are not the owner of the page it was posted on: Firstly, ensure you have made contact with the owner and request they take the image down. If they fail to do so, consider the use of a DCMA takedown notice.
Need further assistance? Contact the Online Investigations team now!