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Sextortion Advice

The below advice is based on recent experience and methodologies adopted by various law enforcement agencies both in the UK and overseas but each case is different and a flexible approach should be adopted.

  1. Do NOT panic. You have already taken the first big step by recognising you are the ‘victim’ in this and that you may require support to help you through this difficult time. The Police will take your case seriously, will deal with it in confidence, and will not make judgements on your behaviour. 
  2. Do NOT pay. Although some victims who have paid what the offenders have demanded and hear no more about it, many others who have paid have then continued to receive further and often increasing demands. In some cases even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the videos anyway.
  3. Do NOT communicate further with the offenders. Obtain screen shots of any communication. Deactivate your Facebook account and use the online reporting process to report the matter to Skype, YouTube etc. to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces. Deactivating the Facebook account rather than shutting it down will ensure data is preserved and will assist law enforcement in obtaining evidence. The account can also be reactivated at any time ensuring online memories are not lost forever.

The Police can assist you with more specific advice regarding contacting the various sites / providers etc. (See Below)

  1. In general once they're blocked, the offenders can't contact you. If they are unable to do so then they can't threaten you or make demands, so they tend to move on fairly quickly. However, they may try to utilise other contact routes that they are aware of, so be mindful of all sites where communication has been made or you are linked to.
  2. If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has, and if you are able, then make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn't, then you can cancel the payment - and the sooner you do that the better.

Removal of Material from the Internet

Removing Links to Explicit Content from Microsoft Bing, Google and Yahoo Search Engine Results

Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have released online web forms to allow victims to request that links to websites containing any sexually explicit image/video of themselves be omitted from search results. This includes Xbox and OneDrive services.

The online forms are easy to complete and should be completed by the data subject e.g. the victim and do not require any police or CDU SPOC action (although in the case of Microsoft if the victim can attach a police report/restraining order/court order/solicitors letter this will expedite the process).

Microsoft- Bing, Onedrive and Xbox

Direct link to revenge porn reporting page: https://support.microsoft.com/enus/getsupport?oaspworkflow=start_1.0.0.0&wfname=capsub&productkey=RevengePorn

What is needed to complete the report:

  • The form should be completed by the data subject, i.e. the subject of the explicit photo or video.
  • Victim’s name, country of residence and email address
  • URL (the website address) of the content that should be omitted from search results
  • Confirmation that the victim did not consent to the content being shared
  • Details of any personal information that is included with the explicit content, e.g. links to social media, name, telephone
  • Does the content appear in search results when you search for the victim by name?
  • Any supporting police/court/advocate/restraining order paperwork

Google

Direct link to revenge porn reporting page:
https://support.google.com/websearch/troubleshooter/3111061#ts=2889054%2C2889099

What is needed to complete the report:

  • The form should be completed by the data subject, i.e. the subject of the explicit photo or video or parent/representative
  • Victim’s name
  • Country of residence
  • Contact email
  • URL(s) of the offending content
  • Screenshots of the offending content

Yahoo

Direct link to revenge porn reporting page:
https://uk.help.yahoo.com/kb/search/posts-intimate-content-permissionsln26123.html?impressions=true

  • You may be required to provide photo ID of the victim to verify their identity.
  • Yahoo guarantees this will be destroyed safely once this is validated.
  • The victim will also need to provide the direct URL to the content.

Social Networking Sites (SNS)

Tumblr

The form for reporting content is: https://www.tumblr.com/abuse/privacy

Twitter

Twitter has a published written policy banning revenge porn which states: "You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent”. It has a form to report the exposure of private information which includes explicit photos. Note that you do not need a twitter account to report abuse.

The link is: https://support.twitter.com/forms/private_information

Facebook

The mechanism for reporting explicit content depends on whether the victim has access to the content and whether the content has been posted on their page or on a different user’s page.

To report a picture/video that has been posted on the victim’s own page:

  • Click on the photo/video to expand it
  • Click options in the bottom right
  • Click report photo/report video

To report content on somebody else’s page:

  • Go to the page you want to report
  • Click ". . ." on the page's cover photo
  • Select Report Page and follow the on-screen instructions.

NOTE: Facebook may warn or disable the account of the person responsible.

Reporting a profile:

  • Go to the profile you want to report
  • In the bottom right of the cover photo, click . . . and select Report
  • Follow the on-screen instructions

If you can’t see the content which has been posted, because you have been blocked or do not permissions to view the page complete the below online form: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/274459462613911

If you are using a mobile device a different process needs to be followed, the link to this is https://www.facebook.com/help/1432374603715654/list

Instagram

Instagram have a broad policy which prohibits the posting of sexually explicit content which includes images the user does not have permission to distribute.

The link for reporting prohibited material is here: https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/contact/584460464982589#_=_

YouTube

YouTube has an option which allows users to flag inappropriate content which contravenes their Community Guidelines. YouTube state on their website that they review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week and prohibited content will be removed.

How to Flag a Video

  1. Below the YouTube video player click the ‘More’ Button
  2. Highlight and click the ‘Report’ button in the drop down menu
  3. Click the reason for flagging that best fits the violation within the video
  4. Provide any additional details that may help the review team make their final decision

How to Flag a Channel

  • Visit the channel page you wish to report
  • Click ‘About’
  • Click the Flag drop down button
  • Select the option that best suits your issue

Snapchat

Snapchat safety centre includes advice for victims.

The link is: https://www.snapchat.com/safety

WhatsApp

The link to their help page is: https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/

Kik

Victims can report violations of the terms here support@kik.com

Pornhub, xHamster and Other Similar Sites

Pornhub do not have a written policy in place regarding revenge porn, but they do have a support page which gives an option to request the removal of content in a drop down menu.

The link is: http://www.pornhub.com/support

xhamster have a reporting route for content posted without consent.

The link is: http://xhamster.com/contact.php?subject=DMCA

They also have a Frequently Asked Questions page.

The link is:
http://xhamster.com/faq.php#56http://xhamster.com/contact.php?subject=DMCA

Other Available Support

For other available support, the following may be of benefit:
revengepornhelpline.org.uk 0845 600 0459
getsafeonline.org 0207 025 6662

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