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 DMCA.com's takedown team 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 on 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, the Survival Guide was created below. This information list gives the best instructions on how to prevent compromising pictures or videos getting online.
Need assistance having unwanted content removed from the internet? DMCA.com can help, click here to Start Your Takedown
DMCA.com 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:)
- Parents should encourage delaying the use of all social media for their children as long as possible. The best protection is abstinence, and it should be maintained for as long as possible.
- Parents should not be fooled by social media platforms that claim their content is only temporary. It should be understood that all content online can be copied and reposted elsewhere.
- After introducing or allowing social media, parents should set limits. They can count the number of friends their child has in real life and set their online social media limit to that number. Justification should be asked for having more friends.
- Parents should ensure the use of the strongest privacy settings to restrict unlimited access (viewing) to their child's profile.
- Parents should get connected with their child through social media, share, join in, and get involved. They can browse with them using their account and share the same communities, follow the same groups, people, organizations, etc. It should be noted that much of this type of content is intended for adults or older teens.
- Parents should follow the adult's guide to social media use (see below).
- Parents should check the photos and videos on their child's device and go through what is appropriate and what is not.
- Parents should advise their children to avoid entirely the publication of solo selfies, solo (bathroom/bedroom) mirror selfies, etc. They are too easy to photoshop inappropriately. Group shots are better as they are harder to photoshop for later misuse.
Survival Guide for Adults
- Adults should remember that they are "on stage" when on social media.
- Adults should be aware that once their content is digital and published on ANY social media platform, it can (and most likely will) go everywhere. Social media should be used with the understanding that everything put online will go everywhere and be seen by everyone.
- Adults should not make themselves vulnerable to blackmail or coercion of any kind. It should be understood that content uploaded online can be deemed "fair use" for everyone to see and share, without any presumed privacy.
- Adults should not consider their privacy settings as a vault door, but rather a screen door at best.
Photos leaked on social media can have a significant negative impact on someone's body image
Social media platforms are filled with carefully curated and often heavily edited images that project idealized versions of beauty and perfection. When individuals see these images, especially if they have leaked compromising photos, they may compare themselves unfavorably and feel inadequate or insecure about their own bodies.
Negative comments and cyberbullying
Leaked photos can attract hurtful comments, cyberbullying, and body-shaming from online users. Negative remarks about appearance can deeply impact someone's self-esteem and body image. The constant exposure to such comments can lead to self-doubt and a distorted perception of one's body.
Leaked photos can evoke a fear of judgment from peers, friends, family, and even strangers. The worry about being labeled or stigmatized due to the leaked photos can cause individuals to develop negative feelings about their bodies and overall self-image.
Loss of control and privacy
The unauthorized sharing of intimate or compromising photos can lead to a loss of control over one's own image. This loss of privacy can leave individuals feeling vulnerable and exposed, impacting their body image as they may feel a lack of agency over how their body is presented and perceived by others.
Dealing with the aftermath of leaked photos can result in emotional distress and anxiety. The fear of further exposure, social consequences, and reputational damage can take a toll on an individual's mental well-being. This distress can contribute to negative body image, as the focus shifts from self-acceptance to worry and anxiety about one's appearance.
It is important to provide support and resources for individuals who have experienced the leaking of their photos. Encouraging healthy social media habits, promoting body positivity, and fostering a safe and inclusive online environment can help mitigate the negative effects on body image caused by leaked photos on social media.
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 victim's 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 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 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 it is certainly attainable to have 200, 500 or even 1000 friends, connections, and followers the pressure that number creates would be substantial.
Actions to Take If Your Social Media Content Is Published Without Permission
- Individuals should respond quickly, remain calm, and exhibit confidence when their social media content is published without permission. Seeking help promptly is crucial in addressing the issue effectively.
- Contacting the police or relevant authorities is advised, especially in the following situations:
- If the individual or the person in the photo or video is underage.
- If the perpetrator of this act is known to the individual and they never gave permission for the photos to be shared.
- Note: Oftentimes, authorities can assist in dealing with the perpetrators of the crime. However, their jurisdiction may be limited when the photos/videos have been uploaded to servers located outside their legal reach. Separate efforts should be made to have the photos/videos taken down.
- Individuals should refuse to be victims of extortion. Sending money or a photo ID to hosting companies or website owners to have the content removed is a serious privacy violation and is not required in any legitimate takedown process. If asked to pay to remove the content, it can be considered extortion or a bribe under most laws. If necessary, individuals should involve a lawyer, inform the police, and, whenever possible, have an internet specialist present. Blackmail should not be entertained, and no money should be paid, as it may lead to repeated demands in the future.
- Efforts should be made to locate as many copies of the published content as possible. The individuals themselves are best positioned to identify the content, especially considering that it might be cropped or altered in some way. Creating a list of websites hosting the content can help stop its spread. Often, only one website serves as the source of the uploaded photo or video, and removing it from there should be prioritized before addressing other sites, if any.
- It should be noted that removing the content from one website does not resolve the issue entirely, as the longer the content has been online, the higher the likelihood of its spread to other networks and websites.
- Immediate initiation of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedowns is recommended. Acting swiftly helps to halt or slow down the spread of the content. Individuals can either conduct the takedowns themselves using tools like the DIY Program from DMCA.com, seek assistance from a lawyer, or utilize a professional takedown service such as DMCA.com Professional Takedown Service. Regardless of the chosen method, the speed at which takedowns are initiated is crucial. Taking this action can also support any legal proceedings that have been or will be initiated. If individuals opt to handle the process themselves, the following tips are important:
- Follow the takedown process specified by the website hosting the photos or videos. If the website has its own takedown policy, adhere to it.
- Maintain a factual and objective tone in the description and request for removal, avoiding emotional narratives or background details.
- Clearly state the facts related to the photo or video, such as ownership or lack of permission for its usage, emphasizing that it is their own photo or they are depicted in it without consent, or asserting copyright ownership.
- Take measures to stop the content at its source. Identify where the content originated from and ensure that no further unauthorized use of the photos can occur. If the content is present on personal devices such as email, mobile, camera, laptop, etc., restrict access to the internet. If someone has gained unauthorized access to mobile phones, email accounts, computer files, GoPro cameras, or iCloud storage and published nude photos without permission, changing passwords and removing the content is essential.
Questions about your situation? DMCA.com 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.
Can a DMCA Takedown 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.
DMCA.com can help get stolen private photos removed, start the process but submitting the Takedown Form
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