How intimate photos are being stolen by scorned partners and shared on social media platform Reddit


1000’s of persons are being harassed by an nameless mob after their personal pictures have been stolen and shared on social media platform Reddit.

Reddit, which permits its 50 million customers to host their very own boards often known as ‘subreddits’, has a whole bunch of threads devoted to sharing intimate images, primarily specializing in girls.

Some risqué pictures are lifted from girls’s Instagram and Tiktok accounts, however different extra revealing photos are sometimes uploaded to the location by embittered exes.

Beneath the photographs are sometimes dozens of vicious and demeaning feedback, together with rape threats, a BBC Panorama report discovered.

Many customers additionally dedicate their time to ‘doxing’ girls by sharing their private particulars and addresses.

Panorama journalist Monika Plaha mentioned she was delivered to the location by a tip-off and ‘felt sick’ going by among the boards.

1000’s of individuals, primarily girls, are being harassed by an nameless mob after their personal pictures have been stolen and shared on social media platform Reddit (Inventory picture)

Revenge porn: What’s the legislation within the UK? 

Revenge porn legal guidelines got here into have an effect on within the UK in 2015 as a part of the Felony Justice and Court docket Act. 

The Act makes it a legal offence for an individual to: ‘disclose a non-public sexual {photograph} or movie if the disclosure is made (a) with out the consent of the person who seems, and (b) with the intention of inflicting that particular person misery’. 

It means those that maliciously share sexually specific pictures with out the topic’s consent might withstand two years in jail.

The legislation covers the sharing of pictures each on and offline. Pictures posted to social networking websites equivalent to Fb and Twitter are coated by the offence, as are these which might be shared by way of textual content message, e-mail, on a web site or by way of bodily distribution.  

The offence covers images or movies which present folks engaged in sexual exercise or depicted in a sexual means or with their genitals uncovered.

She wrote: ‘The primary one I checked out was centered on South Asian girls and had greater than 20,000 customers, most of whom appeared to be males from the identical group, with feedback in English, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.

‘Among the girls I recognised as a result of they’d massive social media followings. A couple of I even knew personally.

‘There have been greater than 15,000 pictures. We checked out a thousand of them and located sexually specific photos of 150 completely different girls. All have been being dehumanised as sexual objects within the feedback. I used to be positive not one of the girls would have consented to showing on this discussion board.’

One other thread noticed a person provide to share a complete file of intimate images of a lady for £5, whereas one other requested for the lady’s social media accounts.

One sufferer, utilizing the identify Ayesha, described discovering nude movies of herself uploaded on the location final yr and alleges she was filmed by an ex-boyfriend with out her consent.

She confronted a wave of harassment as her particulars have been shared on-line, with males demanding intercourse and threatening to ship the movies to her household, figuring out she got here from a strict Pakistani background which didn’t approve of intercourse earlier than marriage.

After trying suicide, she advised her mother and father what had occurred and mentioned they each fell right into a despair.

When she tried to contact Reddit, one video was taken down swiftly whereas it took 4 months for one more to be eliminated. 

Panorama tracked down the Reddit person who created the discussion board focusing on South Asian girls, together with Ayesha, and recognized him as Himesh Shingadia, a university-educated supervisor at a big agency.

He deleted his subreddit after Panorama contacted him and advised the programme it was solely meant to ‘admire South Asian girls’.

Reddit, which allows its 50 million users to host their own forums known as 'subreddits', has hundreds of threads dedicated to sharing intimate photos, mainly focusing on women

Reddit, which permits its 50 million customers to host their very own boards often known as ‘subreddits’, has a whole bunch of threads devoted to sharing intimate images, primarily specializing in girls

Reddit permits sexual pictures however has tried to clamp down on non-consensual photos after a number of excessive profile incidents.

In 2014, the location grew to become infamous when a cache of feminine celebrities’ personal pictures have been shared on the location.

4 years later, the location’s moderators shut down a gaggle devoted to utilizing ‘deepfake’ expertise to superimpose celebrities’ faces on to porn movies.

The pattern is considered a unbroken evolution of revenge porn, and has continued regardless of Reddit’s standing as a mainstream platform.

In December, it was reported that revenge porn had soared in the course of the pandemic with the variety of offences rising by 329 per cent over a 13-month interval in London – with some victims as younger as ten.

The info, launched by the Metropolitan Police by a Freedom of Info (FOI) request, confirmed the variety of instances rose by 698 between October 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021.

Shockingly, the variety of victims between the ages of 10 and 17 quadrupled in comparison with the earlier yr.

In response to Panorama’s report, Reddit mentioned it had taken down over 88,000 non-consensual sexual pictures in 2021 and takes the problem ‘extraordinarily significantly’.

The corporate says it employs a workforce of workers to root out personal pictures shared with out the customers consent. It provides that it frequently takes motion, together with closing down boards.

A Reddit spokesman mentioned: ‘We take the problem of non-consensual intimate media extraordinarily significantly. Our sitewide insurance policies strictly prohibit any non-consensual sharing of intimate or sexually specific media, together with depictions which were faked. 

‘Reddit was one of many earliest websites to ascertain sitewide insurance policies that prohibit this content material, and we proceed to evolve our insurance policies to make sure the security of the platform. For example, we just lately up to date our rule towards non-consensual intimate media to supply a clearer sense of the content material this rule prohibits.

‘We’ve got devoted inner Security groups that use a mix of automated tooling and human assessment to detect and motion non-consensual intimate media. As documented in our Annual Transparency Report, our Security groups frequently take motion towards communities and customers for this conduct, together with eradicating communities which might be evading a ban, and we’ll proceed to implement our insurance policies throughout the platform. 

‘We all know we now have extra work to do to stop, detect, and motion this content material much more shortly and precisely, and we’re investing now in our groups, instruments, and processes to realize this objective.’

  • BBC Panorama: Buying and selling Nudes airs on BBC One tonight at 8pm and can be out there on iPlayer.

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