Imagine that you go on a beach vacation with friends. You take lots of photos enjoying the weather, laying out by the water in your bathing suit. You are excited to share those photos with your friends on Facebook, but what if you later discover that these images were copied and uploaded on an inappropriate website, sexualizing and objectifying them?
Myana Welch, title holder of Miss Universe Guam 2017, recently discovered that her photoshoot images were exploited on an escort site. Crime Watch Daily highlighted this story, hopefully reaching more victims of online identity theft and inspiring them to stand up against their abusers along with Myana. She has started a movement through the Facebook page UsToo to raise awareness about online abuse and to offer support to victims.
Also, check out FaceChex.com. We’re the online image protection company that discovered and is getting her images removed. We offer affordable image protection plans that protect your online images.
You can watch Myana’s video on her experience here:
The Pacific Daily News reports that Miss Universe Guam, Myana Welch, is using her voice to fight online exploitation.
Welch recently discovered that her image was being exploited on a fake escort account, as well as other fake social media accounts. She was devastated to learn about this misuse of her photoshoot images, but is determined not to let the online abusers win. She is fighting back against the site that exploited her images with the help of online image protection company FaceChex.
FaceChex submitted legal documents to the escort site, demanding that the abusive content be removed. Along with getting her images removed, Myana is creating a movement for other victims of this online exploitation called UsToo. You can visit the UsToo Facebook page here to share your story and raise awareness for the cause.
Myana Welch, Miss Universe Guam 2017, was devastated to discover that an escort site had stolen photoshoot images of her and used them to create a fake escort profile. To Myana, it seemed obvious that this wasn’t a real account, but then she realized others may not know that. “That’s my face..” she explains in a Facebook video. “and it’s saying…things that almost make me ashamed to even read.”
News 3 Las Vegas reported that the photos were found by online image protection company, FaceChex. Once Myana was notified of the misuse of her photos, she authorized FaceChex to issue legal documents to remove the stolen images.
Have your images been misused online? Myana is inviting you to join her in combatting online image exploitation. To take a stand with her, share your story on the Facebook group UsToo. This page is a movement to raise awareness of online exploitation and show victims they are not alone and that there is help.
Watch Myana’s video on the exploitation of her photos:
Here at FaceChex we are constantly thinking about how to increase online safety for our users…but for teenagers, with work, school, and social lives on their minds, online safety can get put on the back burner.
We want to change that.
We want to create a book, Hacked at 17, written to show teens the importance of protecting themselves online. It tells the real-life stories of people affected by online dangers and offers safety tips for how to avoid becoming a victim of these dangers.
Stories that will be included in the book include those on hacking, sharing inappropriate content, and cyberbullying. These are presented alongside safety guidelines for teens to follow online to avoid these issues.
Any pledge over $1 receives a free copy of a high resolution copy of “A Family’s Guide to Online Safety.” Rewards for backers over $10 range from ebook versions of the text to books donated to high school libraries on your behalf. Any pledge over $50 also gets the bonus of receiving FaceChex scanning along with your copies of the book!
Visit the Kickstarter campaign page to learn more and order your copy of Hacked at 17 to share with your loved ones!
FaceChex founder, Mark Bauman, contributed an article about the influence of fake profiles on social media to Forbes. You can read the article here to learn more about what impact fake profiles are having in your life (and on the free democracy of our nation).
Stay tuned for an upcoming article about protecting yourself from these fake profiles. You’ll learn how to avoid being tricked by them and how to avoid having your pictures used to create them!
Would you friend someone on Facebook who came from your hometown?
It’s possible you just don’t remember their face because you have a few mutual friends and he looks like a good guy. He even has his daughter in the profile picture with him.
In the case of “Melvin Redick,” enough people trusted a profile based on these facts to kick off a “unprecedented foreign intervention in American democracy,” The New York Times reports.
Melvin Redick was not, in fact, from Harrisburg, PA – the pictures associated with the account were ripped from a Brazilian man’s profile – and the posts Melvin made promoting a site devoted to leaking confidential U.S. Government information were not coming from a Pennsylvanian at all.
These fake profiles, created to influence American’s political views before the 2016 election, weren’t contained to Facebook alone. Twitter was also flooded with fake profiles because, unlike Facebook, Twitter does not require its users to use a full name at all (real or fake).
Facebook estimates that about 126 million Americans may have seen content that was distributed through fake profiles by The Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm. This content was highly controversial and politically divisive and is widely believed to have had a significant effect on the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election.
Online identity theft no longer affects only the individual user whose content was stolen, but can have wide-reaching affects on their social network and ultimately influence an entire nation. More and more fake profiles are created every day – make sure none of the identity thieves behind them are able to use your likeness to advance their agenda.
FaceChex offers affordable protection plans that make sure no one can hide behind your pictures.
Learn more on our Youtube Channel. Below our founder dives deeper into this subject:
After launching multiple successful companies, Brad Costanzo has earned his reputation as an expert in business. Unfortunately, someone else recently tried to steal this credibility by impersonating Costanzo for a fake crowdfunding site.
Join us Thursday at 2pm PST for our interview on Costanzo’s podcast Bacon Wrapped Business to discuss how his identity was compromised to perpetuate an investment scam.
Update: You can watch our live stream of the interview here:
Revenge porn, or nonconsensual pornography, is defined by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative as “the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent.”
Facebook is taking steps to fight this devastating issue. In April 2017 they released tools that utilize trained moderators to review intimate images that have been reported for appearing to be posted without the subject’s permission. If the moderator determines there is ground to remove the image, Facebook is able to use “photo-matching technologies” to prevent that picture from being shared anywhere else on their platforms, including Messenger and Instagram.
Recently, Facebook expanded on these reporting tools by testing a new program, starting in Australia. Their new program will allow users to be proactive in preventing their intimate images from being posted without their permission. If someone suspects there’s a risk that nonconsensual pornography will be distributed of them on Facebook’s platforms, they can record these concerns and the photo-matching technologies can prevent the pictures from being shared in the first place.
This is a great step forward in combatting revenge porn, but it is important to understand where you still may be exposed to risk and why it is vital to invest in online image protection.
These programs only apply to content shared on Facebook’s platforms. The internet has countless outlets that exist solely to distribute revenge porn, and infinitely more that provide a unintentional platform for this activity. Make sure that you are protected by software that will search all across the web for misuse of your images and remove them no matter where they are hiding.
This WILL NOT cover your images if they are posted anywhere outside of Facebook or it’s properties, and for the short term outside of Australia. We need a bigger concentrated effort to make a difference, as it is not common for someone to post revenge porn on Facebook.
Discovery and reporting is still effectively the victim’s responsibility. Unfortunately, as progressive as this new program is, it still places the responsibility of finding and challenging the damaging images on the victim. If you are unaware that someone has access to intimate images of you or that they would have motivation to post them, these pictures could circulate unchecked, undermining your reputation and your relationships.
Facebook has taken an important first step to protecting you on their platforms. Are you doing everything possible to protect yourself online by investing in online image protection? FaceChex offers protection plans for all budgets that will protect your online content from unauthorized use. Sign up today!
Watch some of our interviews on revenge porn and it’s affect on social media and peoples lives. Find more videos like the below on our YoutubeChannel
Welcome to FaceChex. At FaceChex we protect peoples identity online. As technology has improved for image recognition, we’ve been able to improve our content protection services to include what was once professional services for consumer use to protect the average consumer online.
Revenge porn is a recognizable, but commonly misleading, term used to describe sexually-explicit photos that are distributed without the subject’s consent. Nonconsensual pornography (NCP) is widely considered a more appropriate term because this type of content is obtained through hacking in an estimated 40% of cases, rather than by disgruntled exes.
FaceChex founder, Mark Bauman, sits down with Charlotte Laws, author of Rebel in High Heels and anti-NCP activist, to discuss how she took down the site that posted private images of her daughter, stolen through hacking.
Charlotte’s daughter sent private images to herself through email to save them on her computer in late 2011. These personal pictures were never intended for anyone else’s eyes, but three months later they showed up on an infamous site that pushed NCP content. The images were accompanied by her full name, city, and a link to her personal Twitter account.
“My daughter was hacked by a friend through Facebook,” Charlotte explains. A hacker was able to compromise one of her daughter’s friends on Facebook and use this connection to hack into her daughter’s personal email account to steal personal pictures. The hacker then sold the private images and personal information to a website infamous for NCP content.
After pleading with the site owner to take down her daughter’s images and receiving only rude refusals, Charlotte devoted all of her time and resources to fighting the site. She reached out to law enforcement and, although she initially encountered a lot of victim blaming and inaction, she was ultimately able to convince the FBI to take her case.
Charlotte was able to create a coalition of victims and a 12″ file of research to help them fight back. “Victims feel helpless…you don’t even want to tell anyone about it,” Charlotte explains. These men and women were publicly humiliated and harassed online. They lost jobs, relationships, and confidence – Charlotte knew she had to help them all.
After the FBI investigation was opened, the site owner took down the site and sold off the domain used to exploit so many people’s intimate images. It took over a year of investigation, but the site owner and the hacker were ultimately arrested.
The site owner pleaded guilty to two charges: aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information for purposes of private financial gain. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison while he hacker he hired was sentenced to 25 months in federal prison. Charlotte is not satisfied with the brevity of these punishments as she refers to NCP as a “sex crime.”
Even though this one website was taken down by the determination of a mother, once a photo is posted online it is highly likely that it will be reposted again and again. These photos could show up on any website at any time and it’s impossible to search the entire internet by yourself, which is why it is so important to be protected by an online image protection tool.
“It’s very important to have these tools in place to help the victims out there,” Charlotte says of the value of investing in FaceChex.
FaceChex is able to provide affordable protection plans that fight against nonconsensual pornography. Invest in your online security today. Click here to support the FaceChex Kickstarter campaign.