Internet Removals – Revenge porn: How to tell if your date is crazy

DATING has never been more dangerous. With the rapid rise of revenge porn and sexual blackmail, no longer can we linger on the idea of romance and roses, when it comes to modern day dating.

Experts in the field are pleading with Aussies to invest in their own future as alarming figures show revenge porn and sextortion — a form of blackmail where sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favours from the victim — is on the rise.

The use of revenge porn has more than doubled since 2015, and the shady practice now impacts more than one in every five Australian.

The situation has become so dire, no longer can we keep our heads in the sand and pretend that naked selfie is safe in just one person’s hands.

“I had one friend of mine that dated a guy who had stabbed a lady and had even appeared on A Current Affair, he looked completely normal,” Brendon McAlpine told news.com.au.

“I know one lady who has changed her name. It’s out of control.”

Earlier this year, American YouTube star Chrissy Chambers won a landmark revenge porn casein the UK after she successfully sued her British ex-boyfriend who secretly filmed the couple having sex — when she was just 18 — and uploaded the videos to the internet.

Last week the Senate passed tough new laws to tackle revenge porn with penalties of up to $525,000 for companies and $105,000 for individuals for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

Mr McAlpine, who specialises in removing revenge porn and wrongful reviews for clients online with his business, Internet Removals, says that when it comes to wrongful relationships, inquiries are booming.

He told news.com.au he receives at least 50-100 inquiries for help per week.

“[The amount of victims] triples in percentages every year for us, but there’s a lot of people out there who don’t know there’s a service to help them remove the content,” Mr McAlpine said.

“If they did know we believe we would be inundated with phone calls.”

— MORE: How to find out if your nudes have been leaked online

— MORE: My ex emailed my sex tape to my boss

Revenge porn is when revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person are posted on the internet without the consent of the subject. Often, ex-lovers are responsible for uploading the content.

Hacking or catfishing — the act of luring someone into a relationship by adopting a fictional online persona — can also be to blame.

Mr McAlpine said he gets calls from “every type of person”, from top CEOs to teenagers.

The problem has become so widespread, Mr McAlpine says that the majority of videos found on porn sites are most likely stolen content and that the cases he works on are “out of control”.

“People don’t realise there is high potential for the content you’ve shared to be shared online,” he said. “I don’t think people realise that their online footprint is important as it is.

“Everyone is doing it, everyone needs to take precautions because it ruins lives, absolutely ruins them.”

In six months alone between 2016 and 2017, more than 350 complaints of revenge porn were submitted to the eSafety commissioner’s office. That’s just the ones we know about.

Unassuming Australians are targeted on websites where they are branded “s**ts”, homewreakers, cheaters — or worse — sometimes with their full names, addresses, contact information and graphic pictures provided.

But squashing revenge porn continues to remain problematic, and it seems like we’re losing the battle. Even something as simple as a bad date can spiral a situation until it is “out of control”.

“The public needs to know that their online foot print is more important than a passport or CV. What we see and deal with is crazy,” said Mr McAlpine.

“Once the content is down you’d be amazed at how people’s lives change.”

Here’s how you can stay savvy and figure out whether to ditch the date before it’s too late.

FIND OUT AS MUCH PERSONAL INFO AS YOU CAN

Information is everything, so arm yourself with a full name of the person in question, if you can swing it. Suburbs, addresses and anything you can add to your armoury can only serve you better in the future.

GET SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY

Facebook and Snapchat are the worst offenders, according to Mr McAlpine.

With the current methods of communicating you need some sort of process to find out if the person in question is a risk.

Knowing their full name can provide access to a host of information about that person online.

Mr McAlpine recommends to take a look at the person’s social media page, like Instagram, for example, and “see if they’re angry all the time”.

“Go to their Facebook or Instagram page and see if there’s a pattern. There are people out there who talk about themselves every day and every minute. See if there is a pattern of aggression, of negativity and hate.

“If they are always posting negative things, ascertain if that person is a risk. If you are a professional, you need to really look at that person and ask yourself, ‘If I was to share information with this person and it went sour, will they share the information with the internet?’”

GOOGLE THEM — BUT BE SMART ABOUT KEYWORDS

Type the person in question’s name in to Google.

Use the person’s first and last name and scroll through pages one to three for content you might find inappropriate.

An added addition: Add keywords and search terms you might feel relevant, like “cheater”, “std”, ”scumbag”, “violent”.

“Google is everything, there is no other platform you can find this information. Google, in my opinion, its your passport,” Mr McAlpine said.

The problem for victims is that the more people look at the revenge porn page, the more chance it will appear high in your own search. So beware.

EMOTION IS EVERYTHING

Check the emotions associated to their posts.

“It’s crucial,” says Mr McAlpine.

“If we can’t remove, or we want a more long-term solution, we will engage in mediation between the two parties. When I engage in mediating with the person who has published the revenge porn I look at their online presence. The warning signs are that obvious, I guarantee you know people who express themselves ritually, negatively, every single day. They are the ones who have the real risk of sharing online information.”

KEEP YOUR HEAD OUT OF PHOTOS

Mr McAlpine stresses this point.

“What if your phone got stolen? Information gets sold every day of the week. I can’t stress that enough.”

– For more information on Brendon Mcalpine or if you have been targeted by revenge porn, visit internetremovals.com.au

— If you are a victim of revenge porn and are in need of support or advice, visit the ACORN website.

— Got a horror date story? Continue the conversation with Matt Young on Facebook or Twitter

Contact:
Brendon Mcalpine
Company: Internet Removals
Phone: 1300 039 196
Address: Level 3, 130 Bundall Road, Bundall, QLD 4217, Australia
Email: brendon@internetremovals.com.au
Website: https://internetremovals.com.au/

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