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Everything you need to know about revenge porn site AnonMe

By Alma Fabiani

Oct 24, 2020

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Surely you’ve heard of revenge porn before, but hopefully you’ve never been introduced to the term as a victim of it. Revenge porn is defined as “revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person posted on the internet, typically by a former sexual partner, without the consent of the subject and in order to cause them distress or embarrassment.” While many of the videos and pictures end up on mainstream porn websites such as Pornhub or YouPorn, there is one platform in particular that takes pride in specialising in revenge porn hosting: AnonMe.org

Although it is now called AnonImages instead of AnonMe, nothing else seems to have changed for the infamous website. Despite a recent crackdown on revenge porn in many countries, on AnonMe, users still share and ‘trade’ pornographic photos of others. The website somehow runs unchecked. What is AnonMe about exactly and why are we still dealing with these kinds of platforms?

What is AnonMe?

AnonMe is a non-consensual pornography (NCP) image board, also called a revenge porn site, which allows users to post adverts asking for information about someone specific. Personal details such as photographs, videos and even workplaces are then provided by other users on the platform, which the subjects obviously do not consent to being shared.

The requested content is then shared by anonymous users without any explanation on where it came from in the first place. Most images published are titled with the woman’s real name, and more often than not completed with an age and location too. As expected, underneath the pictures and videos shared on AnonMe, users (most probably male ones) leave insulting comments such as ‘slag’, ‘slut’ and more misogynistic slurs of the same type.

What is Anon-IB?

Originally called Anon-IB, the website was shut down in 2018 after Dutch authorities arrested three of the platform’s administrators in April 2018 and seized its server. Things had been quiet since then, but not forgotten as Reddit and 4chan users still posted about Anon-IB from time to time, asking where the new alternative could be found.

While it seems unlikely that the exact same people who ran the first site are running the new versions of it that appeared between 2019 until now, users have flocked to it regardless with many requesting content they remember from the previous original site.

What is the difference between Anon-IB and AnonMe?

As previously stated, AnonMe is nothing more than a copy of the original Anon-IB. However in this case, newer seems to implicate crueller too. According to a Motherboard article on the birth of AnonMe published in February 2020, founder of the anti-NCP advocacy group Battling Against Demeaning & Abusive Selfie Sharing (BADASS) Katelyn Bowden explained that “while Anon-IB was willing to work with groups like BADASS to take down photos when victims asked, sites sharing NCP currently will now instead move content behind a paywall when victims—including underage victims—complain.”

Of course, none of these websites can be applauded but it is clear that revenge porn and the platforms that host it are only getting worse and worse, and so is their impact.

Who runs AnonMe?

Similarly to the Fappening or Anon-IB previously, tracking the person or people behind AnonMe remains hard to achieve. First of all, the domain’s name is registered anonymously through a service in Russia that hides evidence of where the site is hosted. On top of that, AnonMe is protected by the internet security firm Cloudflare, which protects websites from malicious floods of traffic.

Surprisingly, it is not the first time Cloudflare has run into controversy. In the past, the security firm also protected sites dedicated to hateful content such as 8chan and neo-Nazi websites. Meanwhile, in 2019, Cloudfare banned a site that was meant to help sex workers stay safe, which endangered many sex workers by pushing them off internet platforms.

Long story short, the people behind AnonMe remain anonymous—for now, unfortunately. This website and the behaviour it promotes does nothing less than to encourage and promote a predatory mindset, bringing abuse and stalking along with it. While websites like this are still able to run, the people behind them run free too. Instead of making elaborate plans to stop teenagers from enjoying a bit of porn here and there, should we not focus on the source of the problems that some porn websites truly represent?

Everything you need to know about revenge porn site AnonMe


By Alma Fabiani

Oct 24, 2020

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Sextortion and sexting blackmail spike during lockdown

By Alma Fabiani

Sep 18, 2020

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Charities including the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Meic—a helpline for younger people in Wales—are concerned that more young people have been sharing naked images of themselves during lockdown. They both said staff have seen an important increase since the beginning of lockdown in March. With the significant increase in the time teenagers are spending online comes a lack of face-to-face interaction, which can be seen as a factor to this new spike in sextortion.

Speaking to the BBC, Sabiha Azad who works on Meic’s helpline for children and young people explained that “Many young people want to send them because it has been normalised in terms of social media.” But there’s more to it than peer pressure. People—teenagers included—are at home alone and wanting intimacy. Young people are less likely to know how to explore it healthily and can easily be pressured into sending things they otherwise wouldn’t share or do.

The charities said most cases were believed to involve 14 to 16-year-olds, with a lot of people cropping out their heads from photographs for ‘safety’. Often, they forget about other distinguishable markers such as birthmarks, piercings or their bedroom’s decor.

What is sextortion?

Sextortion is defined as a type of revenge porn that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favours from the victim. In other words, it is when someone tries to extort either money or sexual favours from someone else by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity.

In this case, sexting blackmail is a specific aspect of sextortion where people share nudes with someone who then blackmails them or decide to share their pictures without their consent. During lockdown, sexting blackmail saw a spike in the UK.

Sexting blackmail in the UK

While sending nudes at a certain age is nothing to worry about, being pressured to do so at an early age can often be a sign of a controlling relationship. It is illegal for under-18s to send or receive nudes. And, during lockdown, despite campaigns created to tackle this, many risks to younger people have been overlooked.

Azad added, “You can even get girls sending pictures on to their friends first to check if they look OK, or boys sharing the photos they get sent with others to compare them.” She further explained that during the pandemic, there’s a danger of forgetting young people—especially girls in this case.

And girls are the ones to see the repercussions. They’re much more likely to be referred to specialist services for support or to develop eating disorders after people share their private pictures because of the negative comments people can make. “It’s a very intimate image being shared and it may be shared to your family members. It often goes through schools, so everyone in that year group will probably see it, if not more,” added Azad.

One 13-year-old girl who remained anonymous was duped into sending sexual photographs to someone she met online, who she has now found out is an adult posing as someone else. She contacted ChildLine and explained she met her blackmailer on Instagram and developed an online relationship with him.

“He convinced me to send pictures of myself which were sexual. Now he’s threatened to share those pictures with my friends unless I send him more,” she told the BBC. She added that she was too scared to tell her mum in case she got into trouble.

Another victim who is 14 met “a good-looking boy” on a teenage dating app who made her feel special while she was having a tough time at home. When he started asking for nude photos, she said she “agreed as a joke to talk dirty instead.” After a while, she became uncomfortable and she blocked him, only for him to get in touch through another app, threatening to publish her profile picture next to the dirty messages.

Because it is illegal for under-18s to send or receive nudes, this kind of situation can result in a vicious circle of blackmail, which can lead to bullying from other young people. Young people can then receive more blackmail and send further images.

In order to tackle this problem, young people are urged to seek support from an adult. Children and young people can speak with a ChildLine counsellor online or on the phone between 09:00 and midnight on 0800 11 11 or can also contact Meic in an online chat.

Sextortion and sexting blackmail spike during lockdown


By Alma Fabiani

Sep 18, 2020

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