DMCA.com spends an extraordinary amount of time helping children and their parents deal with consequences of cyber bullying and revenge posting on Social Media. This online taunting is a terrible crime and violation. It is intense, constant and very dangerous. The emotional harm and ultimately physical consequences of this assault take a very heavy toll on parents and children alike. We, management and staff at DMCA.com, would like to stop this online scourge. To this end we have added this social media survival guide as a service to everyone.
The tremendous rise in popularity of social media has corresponded with an equally tremendous rise in UGC (User Generated Content) sites. It is a fair statement to say that much of the content found of UGC sites comes from social media sites. Much of that content is "stolen content" or content published without permission of the owner or creator. The rise in the number of online dating sites has also followed a similar trend
So, we created the Survival Guide below. This information list gives you the right instructions on how to prevent compromising pictures or video of you or your child getting online.
If you need assistance having unwanted content removed from the internet we can help, click here to Start Your Takedown
DMCA Takedown Fast Tip
The number one most vulnerable group on social media is young women, particularly teenage girls.
Social Media Survival Tips for Children (Parents read here:)
- Delay the use of all social media for as long as possible - the bottom line is the best protection is abstinence. Maintain that for as long as you can.
- Do not be fooled by social media platforms that claim their content is only temporary. All content online can be copied and reposted elsewhere.
- After introducing or allowing social media - set limits. Count the number of friends your child has in real life and set their online social media limit to that number. Sounds shocking but you have to start somewhere. Ask for justification to have more friends.
- Use the strongest privacy settings to restrict unlimited access (viewing) to your child's profile.
- Get connected with your child through social media, share, join in and get involved. Browse with them with their account. You must be along for the ride. Share the same communities, follow the same groups, people, organizations etc. You will (may) be surprised at the kind of content that is shared. Much of it is intended for adults or older teens.
- Follow the adults guide to social media use (see below).
- Check the photos and videos on your child's device. Go through what is appropriate and what is not. Delete everything that you do not want the entire school to see.
- Avoid entirely the publication of solo selfies, solo (bathroom/bedroom) mirror selfies etc. They are too easy to photoshop inappropriately. Group shots are better. They are harder to photoshop to use later should someone want to take your child's photos and use them inappropriately.
Survival Guide for Adults
- Remember you are "on stage" when on social media.
- Once your content is digital and you publish it on ANY social media platform, it can (and most likely will) go everywhere. Use social media with the understanding that everything you put online will go everywhere and be seen by everyone.
- Do not make yourself vulnerable to blackmail or coercion of any kind. Content uploaded online can be deemed "fair use" for everyone to see and share. There is no presumed privacy.
- Do not consider your privacy settings as a vault door - consider them a screen door at best.
DMCA Takedown Testimonial
That is such great news! Thank you all so much for this. I know you requested in the initial form not to be emotional, but I want you to know how important the work you do is, and how much difference it is making to the unfortunate victims lives. My daughter has suffered terribly because of this, and this will make a huge difference to her wellbeing. So a very big thank you, keep up the good work.
Social Media is Serious Business
It is common for every company on the planet to have a social media presence. These companies then go on to pay people to conduct and manage their social media presence. Your child is most likely not one of these professionals. They are most likely not trained. Unlike the corporate professionals they most likely to do not "manage" their profiles and connections. They learn to use social media by trial and error. Some errors made on social media cannot be taken back. A personal, intimate, confidential photo even accidentally uploaded to a social media profile can harm the very public reputation of your child. It has been our experience that this very personal exposure can be devastating for the victim. It can change the lives of the both the child and the parent(s) alike. Take steps today to limit your child's exposure.
The idea that more is better is a commercial social media ambition. For purely economic reasons companies want as many "followers" and "friends" as possible. This ambition or goal to have as many "friends" as possible is not reasonable. While is certainly attainable to have 200, 500 or even 1000 friends, connections and followers the pressure that number creates would be substantial.
If your child has more than 100 friends ask them to unfriend as many as possible. Pay them to unfriend as many you can afford.
For more information please also see: How to stop compromising pictures of you being published online.
What can you do if your social media content is published without permission??
- Respond quickly. Don't Panic. Be confident. Get help.The faster the better.
- Contact the police/authorities - especially if:
- You or the person in the photo or video were underage.
- The perpetrator of this crime is known to you and you never gave permission for the photos to be shared.
- Note: Often the authorities can help with the perpetrators of the crime but are unable to act if the photos/videos have been uploaded to servers located outside their legal jurisdiction. Be prepared to deal with getting your photos/videos taken down as a separate issue.
- Do not be a victim of extortion! Don't send money or a photo ID to hosting companies or website owners to get your content removed. This is a serious privacy violation and is not required within any takedown process, anywhere. If you are told to pay to have your content taken offline it is extortion or a bribe under most laws. If you must pay or follow some other bizarre process to have your content taken offline do so with a lawyer, inform the police and where possible, have an internet specialist with you. Do not give in to blackmail - do not pay money to anyone. If you pay them once they will come back again and again.
- Find as many copies as you can. You are the best person to identify the content. Often it will be cropped or altered in some way so you can identify it the fastest. Make a list. If you can get at the source, you can help stop it from spreading. Often only one website was the source of the uploaded photo or video. It is important to get it removed from there and move on to the other sites, if there are any.
- It's wrong to assume that once your photo or video is off one website the issue is resolved. The longer the content has been up the more likely it has spread to other networks and websites.
- Begin Processing (DMCA) Takedowns immediately! The faster the better. Staying on top of getting your content taken down means you can stop or slow the spread. You can conduct takedowns yourself (DMCA.com has a very inexpensive DIY Program), use a lawyer or use a service like DMCA.com Professional Takedown Service. Regardless of the method you use, the quicker the better. Do it now! Processing takedown can also help any legal action you have started or will start later. If you choose to conduct the process yourself here are a few important tips:
- Follow the Takedown process of website where you have found the photos or video. If the website has its own policy follow that.
- Do not be emotional in your description or request for removal.
- Do not tell a story or give background or incident details.
- Clearly the state facts related to the photo or photo usage - it's your photo, or you are in it and you did not give permission to be used in this manner or you own the copyright.
- Stop the source. Find out where the content came from and make sure no more theft of your photos can occur. If the content is on your email, mobile, camera, laptop etc. make sure to remove access to the internet. If someone has gained access to your mobile or cell phone, email, computer files, GoPro, camera or iCloud storage and published your nude photos on the internet without your permission change your passwords and remove the content.
If you have questions about your situation, we can help. Submit your takedown questions here: www.dmca.com/question. Be as detailed as possible. Include as many links as possible. Include complete details on content ownership and source.
What is a DMCA Takedown and can it help me get my stolen social media content removed?
A DMCA Takedown is when content is removed from a website at the request of the content owner. The DMCA Takedown is the standard followed by website owners and internet service providers around the world. Any owner of content has the right to process a takedown notice against a website owner and/or an Online Service Provider (e.g. ISP, hosting company etc.) if the content owner's property is found online without their permission.
We can help you get your private photos removed, start the process but submitting the Takedown Form
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