Although image-based sexual abuse can happen on “shady” websites, it also occurs on mainstream social media. An exposé by the Guardian newspaper found that in January 2017 alone, Facebook processed 51,300 complaints of revenge porn and 2,450 cases of sextortion, leading it to disable a total of 14,130 accounts.
Most mainstream social media sites now allow users to request a removal of harmful content. If you see your private pictures being shared without your consent, if a person is harassing or bullying you online, or if somebody sent your private pictures to your family or friends via a messenger app, many mainstream sites will take steps to help. Each site’s procedures differ, and some are more responsive than others. We’ve set out the key information on this page.
You can file these requests yourself using the links below. If you want our help to do it, please contact us.
Though your instinct may be to immediately request a takedown, it’s smart to take enough time to save evidence before requesting removal. This will be crucial when pursuing potential legal options, and also important to have for your records. Please visit Actions You Can Take to learn more about how to preserve your evidence and other immediate steps you can take.
Search engine takedowns
In the non-consensual pornography context, you will generally be protected by copyright if you took the intimate image yourself. Because that makes you the author of the photograph, it is automatically copyrighted. This means that you can send a “takedown notice” to a website that is hosting it, informing them that a particular image is copyrighted.
You can learn more about copyright law in your jurisdiction here.
If you want our help to file a copyright takedown notice, visit our Legal help page.