Is anybody horrified?

FTC blog posts don’t usually come with parental advisory notices, but in the case of Craig Brittain and his now-defunct revenge porn website, isanybodydown.com, we might need to make an exception. Because, in case you missed it: revenge porn.

According to the FTC, Brittain solicited sexually explicit pictures to post on the site:

  • He asked people to send a picture of someone else, including their date of birth, town, state, phone number, and Facebook profile – and then he posted it all on the website.
  • He posed as a woman on Craigslist and convinced women to send him pictures of themselves – and then he posted those pictures.
  • He set up a “bounty” system, where anyone could ask others to find pictures of a specific person, in exchange for a reward of $100 or more.

All of the pictures and information were searchable online – and visitors also could post comments about the pictures. In fact, the “higher level of hatred” was one of the selling points of his website. You can imagine the impact on the people whose pictures appeared on the site – anything from getting unwanted contact from strangers, to worry about getting or losing jobs.

But Brittain offered a “solution” to this: for $250, someone could have pictures removed by using the “Takedown Hammer” service offered by the site. According to the FTC, Brittain posed as an attorney, operating this service.

So why did the FTC wade into this seamy underbelly of the online world? Because Brittain’s actions violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. The settlement announced today means that Brittain has to destroy the images and information from the site. In the future, he can’t post naked pictures online unless the person in the picture consents in writing, and he can’t lie – including about who he is or who’s giving him content for a website.

But there’s also a warning here for other revenge porn websites with similar practices: cut it out.

Tagged with: online safety, privacy

Comments

Great work, FTC! Now please put a stop to the biggest fraud that is ripping off thousands daily- the "business opportunity" scam known as Herbalife.

Is this not extortion? Shouldn't the FBI be involved?

This world is so full of smitten , people taking advantage of any one in their path , God will pay them back for all the bad and evil things they do to others, it is only getting worse as the days go past us , just pray for the ones at his PREY, sick old person.

How do you find out if your picture is on one of these sites?

There is a site doing close the same. Exposing johns and now Exposing Jill's... Ran by the same scumbag. He sets up fake ads all over Craigslist and various other outlets. As soon as he receives a txt he captures it, then looks you up on Facebook, steals your photos and post that on his exposing johns website claiming you solicited an escort. When you try to get it removed you conveniently get taken to a page with 3 different offers to pay to get it taken down. Some poor guys have paid and nothing happened with there info besides them having more of their personal info. Next time you are online Google exposing johns scam. It's unreal. Ive sent 8 complaints to the ftc and no action yet. Just wondering what the hold up is.

I am sickened by this and something needs to be done. I was shopping around Craigslist last fall for football tickets, and shortly thereafter I got a text saying I solicited an escort! Now my name and number is listed there, and Google does nothing about this either! This is a crime, and something needs to be done about this! Is anyone else angry about htis extortion racket? I refuse to pay any money!! They need to be shut down now and Google needs to remove all the names and numbers listed from Exposingjohns. Sickening!

I sent a text to a Craigslist ad selling a blueray DVD player in Nashville TN. I asked how much? Next thing I know I have a profile on this site exposing johns.com and I lost my job because my religious company saw the profile with my photo and got rid of me. My wife and 2 kids also left me because she was told I was a sinner. i have never engaged with a prostitute and was trying to buy a blue ray for my son's birthday. Google refuses to do anything and all research shows the website is run out of India. How is this still up? I guess Google and our US government does not care when innocent people are scammed and thrown under the bus. Anyone have the name and phone number of the exposing johns guy. Maybe I will go visit him.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Unfortunately, we cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments. Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint.

Exposingjohns.com is gone but it has been replaced by a new domain name solicitly.com

It happened to me. My husband is blaming me. But he is always on craigslist.I wonder if this is something similar? I never had a problem until December -January. When he put a car on there. I have a name and number. But i am scared to post it. I wish we could talk. I would explain. I just got my number changed late yesterday. He is a snake. I hope they get him and put his pic on TV for all to see. Google or sprint could not help

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