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Revenge porn site disturbingly cruel in its conduct with gay men

Meka Beresford February 5, 2018
Man watchin porn on laptop

Beware of MaleGeneral.

A number of gay men are speaking out against a revenge porn forum for its ‘cruel’ conduct with their nudes that have been leaked.

MaleGeneral invites users to share images and videos of gay males and encourages its community to create threads full of images of the same man.

A majority of the content comes from men who sell their porn who are looking to attract new customers.

Related: Gay people are four times more likely to face ‘revenge porn’

However, many men have reported that their images were put on the site without their consent.

As well as images, personal information such as social media accounts and full names have been posted alongside the images.

The NSFW forum is making it especially difficult for men to have the revenge porn taken down.

The site dictates that in order to have a post taken down, a number of hoops have to be jumped through and if men fail to meet the requirements by the website then they are called out on a separate page called “removal requests”.

Those who fail to follow the incredibly specific instructions are mocked using abusive language such as “turds”, “idiots” and “morons”.

Related: This charity is telling teenagers to send pictures of naked mole rats instead of nudes

The site also posts the personal information of those who fail to apply to have the photos taken down properly.

One man, Jack, told Dazed that he was “ashamed” after his nudes leaked on the website, but he was at a loss as to how he could get the photos removed.

The images, which were exchanged on Grindr, came to his attention after someone contacted him through Twitter.

He explained: “Last year, I received a DM on Twitter from someone I didn’t know. It said something along the lines of ‘Hey, have you seen these photos of you naked on this website?’ and it included a link.

Related: Facebook clamps down on spread of ‘revenge porn’ with photo matching tools

“I thought it was just some fake junk mail circulating but for some reason I clicked on it and there it was.

“I just closed it down as fast as I could, and when I got home I looked into it more and I figured out how horrific that website is.

Grindr
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

“I kept quiet because I didn’t exactly want people seeing that of me.”

Jack explained that the terms of getting the post removed required him to send the MaleGeneral admins a picture of himself holding a sign with specific details.

He said: “If you don’t do it ‘correctly’ they publicly post the photo on the site to shame you.

“I was disgusted… and of course, I didn’t want to do that so I kept quiet about it, thinking no one knew the website existed.

“I was never ashamed because I knew a lot of people do send photos like that, it was just unfortunate it was me that all this happened to.”

Jack worried that the forum is a breeding ground for a lot more dangerous activity as he knows of people under the age of 18 who have had their pictures posted on the site.

“It can be a dangerous place. On social media, it’s easy to lie about your age. Teens can just type whatever they like into a box and are taking a risk by sending stuff like that, for it to end up on a website they have no clue about.

Related: Revenge porn offenders could leak your sex pics with no prospect of jail time

“So I do think there needs to be some form of education to a degree, just so young people know how out of hand this can become.”

Surprisingly, the disturbing conduct of MaleGeneral seems to get through the loopholes of the law as Alex Haydock, a legal assistant at Open Rights Group, explained that it would be difficult to prosecute the website under the normal laws regarding revenge porn.

“It is possible that posting these images may be a criminal offence under the so-called ‘Revenge Porn’ law, but that would require intent to cause the victim distress, which is difficult to prove.

“Laws around harassment and copyright may apply in some circumstances, but this still leaves some room for people to share explicit images without permission,” Haydock said.

How can you protect yourself from becoming a victim of revenge porn?

In the age of Black Mirror, everyone has a little bit of tech-phobia and in all honesty, it’s not possible to completely protect yourself and your nudes but there are a few steps you can take to try and prevent and vengeful exes from sharing your private images.

Firstly, use password protection on your phone and computer. Make sure the password isn’t something easily guessed, and of course never give it out to anyone.

Hide your files – the hide photos function on an iPhone can be a lifesaver, and you can always save the naughtier pictures in some horrifically boring file name that no one is going to click on. Think taxes, bills and grandma’s vet records.

Keep on top of your email and make sure to delete old emails with images that you no longer want – or if you do want the image, save them in a safe place rather than keeping it on a server that could easily be hacked.

Upgrading your firewalls, operating systems, and antivirus software are not going to fool the persistent hackers but it’ll help build yet another level of protection.

You can also protect yourself by keeping away from untrusted websites and for the more paranoid, you can cover your camera on your computer.

More: LGBT, MaleGeneral, revenge porn, US

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