A Cautionary Tale of Sexual Cybercrime: The Fight to Reclaim my Name

This is a cautionary tale of my experiences as a victim of sexual cybercrime. I’m filled with fear, hesitancy and an overwhelming sense of vulnerability at the prospect of writing this piece. I’ve written a little about my experiences before but never as candid as what is to follow. This time around, I’m fighting to reclaim my name and image, a name and image that has been stolen from me and has depicted me as something I’m not.

So here goes…

It all started a couple of years ago when I discovered through a simple Google Image Reverse search that dozens of photos from my social media were plastered all over pornographic sites: xhamster.com, sex.com, cumonprintedpics.com, motherless.com, titsintops.com you name it.

But let me make one thing clear, none of my photos are or were sexually explicit, they were just ordinary images of myself, that like everyone else my age, and everyone else in today’s internet culture, would post on social media.

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Photo of me taken at age 17

It’s my understanding after years of dealing with this issue that the picture to the right is the one that started it all, or caught the attention of some pervert out there.

Somehow the perverts responsible had also managed to find out all of my details, which were also posted on these porn sites. My name, where I lived, what I studied- Some people on the thread were even trying to find out the name of my childhood best friend, so they could hack into my Facebook.

What’s more, is that on these pornographic sites were extremely explicit and highly offensive comments about myself that are to this day branded in my mind: ‘Cover her face, and I’d fuck her body,’ and ‘the amount of cum that has been spilt over her could fill a swimming pool.’ I was also called a ‘whale.’

The discovery was traumatising. I was frightened that a perpetrator would try and contact me in person. It was brutal. I immediately went to the police station, but this was before all this exposure to ‘revenge porn’ was dominating discussion in society. The police had told me that essentially there was nothing they could do, as there was nothing illegal going on, because once you upload a photo to Facebook anyone can take it and do anything they want with it, and that I had to contact the websites myself to take them down and just ensure that my social media settings were set to private.

I know now that what was happening to me is called ‘parasite porn’- the term used when ordinary images are taken from a person’s social media site and posted on threads in pornographic sites, usually alongside highly offensive, explicit and objectifying comments.

I also know that there are so many more young women who are victims of ‘parasite porn’ but haven’t a clue and all the while being preyed on by perverted men. The screenshot below is taken from just one website:

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As you can see, some young women from Instagram are being preyed upon.

For these perverted men, they might argue that what they’re doing may be questionable but technically they aren’t breaking any laws or rules. Unfortunately, they would be right. Under Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, ‘When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you.’

Perpetrators of ‘parasite porn’ might not be breaking any rules or laws right now. But it’s not far-fetched to imagine that at some point in the future, society does witness the rise in the incidence of ‘parasite porn,’ and we ask ourselves: how are we allowing this? Is it really okay for others to do anything they want with an image they find online even if it means objectifying, sexualising and preying on the victim? Is this the risk young women have to take to have an online presence? How will we deal with this issue?

So while ‘parasite porn’ might not break any rules or laws, what it does do-is open up the floodgates to an even crazier world. The world of ‘morphed porn’- where ordinary images are manipulated and superimposed on naked bodies or edited to create a more sexualised effect, and posted on porn sites.

This is where my story takes a turn for the worst…

I soon learnt that my face was being photoshopped onto naked women and I was being depicted as an adult actress. Some solo, some with other porn stars and in one image I’m being ejaculated on by two men. Today, Photoshop is so advanced that it’s really not that difficult to morph an image and make it look real- and some of mine do, which has been the cause of so many sleepless nights worrying about my future employability.

pic-888The newest morphed image is me photoshopped me onto the cover of porn film, ‘Buttman’s Big Tit Adventure Starring Noelle Martin and 38G monsters’ it says.

From the initial discovery and throughout this process, I contacted all the relevant government agencies and even the Australian Federal Police. I explained my story numerous times but I was always transferred or directed to the next agency or simply not responded to.

So I just had to take matters into my own hands. I frantically went about getting the websites removed with varying degrees of success. Luckily most sites obliged my request for deletion. Until one particular site, the site containing the ‘morphed images.’ I had sternly requested this site be deleted, but the Webmaster refused to do so unless I sent him intimate images of me. When I of course refused and demanded the page be removed, he threatened to send the photos to my university and my father. I knew better than to give into blackmail, so I held strong, but the site wasn’t deleted until much later.

Yet again, I know there are so many girls who literally don’t know about this- it’s a terrifying prospect. The screenshot to the right is from just one site.new

Now, some of you may be thinking that I should’ve just had my photo settings on private, or that I shouldn’t upload ‘risqué’ photos, or that I should just quit social media forever.

I thought the same for a long time, I was filled with shame, embarrassment and disappointment. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that I shouldn’t be ashamed at all. I haven’t done anything wrong. Like many others, I’m just another victim of sexual cybercrime.

In fact, now I would say that firstly, no matter how careful you are with your privacy settings on social media. There are always ways around it. These perverts can and do look through photos in the club taken by the club photographer, events pages and even your friends’ accounts

Secondly, blaming the victim is the easy option, especially in this culture of victim-blaming. Where victims of ‘revenge porn’ are asked why they sent nude photos in the first place, instead of why the boys posted them online. We should be asking why these perverted men aren’t being held to account for their actions and for the harm they have not only caused me, but all the other victims subjected to sexual cybercrime.

Lastly, while it may be common knowledge that the internet is a dangerous place and we should all be careful about what we put on the internet, NOBODY expects that when they upload a photo onto Instagram or Facebook, that they’ll end up being depicted as adult actress, with their name and image smeared and misrepresented in a sexually explicit and highly offensive way.

Today, the media is dominated by news of ‘revenge porn.’ We know about the harms of revenge porn to victims that they are more vulnerable to suicide, depression, emotional distress, humiliation and the list goes on.What we don’t hear are the issues of ‘parasite porn’ and ‘morphed porn,’ maybe because most of the victims don’t know they’re victims, which is terrifying enough. But an even more terrifying prospect is that you don’t need to have taken or sent a sexually explicit photo to be at risk.

If you discover that you’re also a victim of ‘parasite porn’ or ‘morphed porn,’ there’s hope still. Now, Google allows you to request the removal of certain photos and videos posted without consent from Google Search Results.

Befitting it seems, how relevant the words of Brené Brown are, the world’s most renowned researcher in shame and vulnerability:

When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.

So here I am, reclaiming my name.

 

 

Featured Image: Zac Quitzau Facebook: Zac’s Doodles

 

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “A Cautionary Tale of Sexual Cybercrime: The Fight to Reclaim my Name

  1. Incredible story! Thank you for using your voice and your talents to bring attention to this. This is such an eye-opening example of the patriarchal entitlement over a woman’s body. These men felt entitled to take your pictures, they felt entitled to post them online, they felt entitled to edit your pictures and they felt entitled to invite discussion over your body.

    Thank you for your bravery and honesty! Hopefully the law catches up to the digital age soon. Surely this must be some form of internet stalking and/or harassment? Unfortunately the law doesn’t seem to be catching up fast enough. We need more attention on stories like this.

    Sending you my love and support! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What was the site where the webmaster tried to extort you for images to be removed? My sister has been fighting to get her own pictures removed from porn banners for 3 years and nobody seems willing to help. Like your story none of her pictures were even remotely sexually suggestive but it didn’t stop perverts from misrepresenting her.

    I first read your post on parasite porn a few months ago and was interested in what you said about google removing images and links from searches however we haven’t been able to get help from anybody at google yet. Is there any more information or contacts links you could please share with us?

    It’s horrible that people who are beneath you have managed to cause you so much grief. Anybody out there who would judge you or ridicule you because of what some random perverts have taken it upon themselves to do, is probably the kind of person who would make those webpages. The opinions of degenerates shouldn’t matter to you. You are an attractive, intelligent and articulate person and they feel threatened or jealous and so make hurtful comments. Without knowing you, I am still going to guess you are too strong to let this slow you down. These perverts can edit pictures of you but they can’t change who you are.

    I wish you luck and peace for your future and hope in some small way that knowing there are also total strangers out there who are empathetic and outraged on your behalf, will provide you at least a small feeling of support when you are down.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh what an absolutely horrible thing to have happened to you. Thank you for your bravery in illuminating this issue as I was completely unaware of it and will certainly be warning my family.. x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am so, so sorry this happened to you. I don’t think society and the authorities are really all that clued into the fact that there is more than one form of sexual assault. Thank you for sharing your story so that other young women and older women may read it and learn from your experience. I am certain that you will “reclaim your name”. You seem like a strong young woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You lovely, young woman. I wish there was something I could do to take away all of that hurt. What I can do is tell you that you are amazing and using this pain to help and advise other women is awesome. Thank you for visiting my blog because it led me to your incredible site, Noelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello again Ms Martin. You may remember me contacting you a few years ago in relation to the misappropriation and representation of your photos. At the time we had a great deal of success getting them removed and even though events in my life unfortunately meant I could not see it through to the end, I felt I had done some good, helped somebody out and maybe made the world a little better in at least some tiny way. So you can believe me when I say, my heart sank, my teeth gnashed and my fists clenched when I read your article and saw that the problem remains and from what you say is worse than ever. I am sorry our earlier efforts were not enough.

    I applaud you for your standup courage in making your story public. It is a story shared by far too many people and I commend you for being one of the few who have chosen to drag it into the light rather than crawl into the dark with it.

    I am still trying to have stolen/photoshopped materials depicting my (now) girlfriend removed from several sites after one of her ex’s friends stole and posted material many years ago. It was during a follow up search I found your article and as I said, I went from unhappy to despondent when I saw that you are still being harassed. So I just wanted to reach out and say for what it is worth, you have my full support and admiration for the strength of character you have shown so far. I am sure you will only get stronger as time goes on too.

    Here was an interesting (if not infuriating) article I read prior to yours http://www.dailydot.com/crime/revenge-porn-how-to-fight-back/ . You may recognise some of the sites they list as virtual co-conspirators to these internet creepers. I am currently trying to have filefap.com’s provider godaddy.com served with a letter of demand due to the lack of response from their customer in removing illegal content. Similar methods have worked for other sites but it is costly and time consuming. I was thinking it is the very service model that several young, switched on, educated and passionate Law graduates could turn into a crowdfunded service to help the victims of these creeps. Know anybody who fits that description?

    As always, may the best of your past be the worst of your future; and I wish you good hunting.

    Regards

    Mike.

    PS – Please don’t publish this comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Noelle.Terrible when I was young there was none of this technology is frightening. Thank you for sharing sincerely hope you can stop it! Thank you so much for wanting to follow my poetry adventures. Very interested in all things paranormal conspiracy theories and observing this crazy mixed up society. Great to meet you. Writing is a passion that keeps me sane and alive! Peace and Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Meaningful information in world of predators. I think too many people also showcase their intimacies on social media setting themselves up for victimization. Thank you for your recent visit to my blog.

    Like

  9. Hi Noelle, I read your story on ABC news yesterday and was disgusted by what you’ve had to endure. I stumbled upon this site while looking for a way to send support 🙂 You sound like a very strong and intelligent woman that deserves every chance without this BS tarnishing your image. All the best.

    Like

    • Really? I know the internet provides everybody a platform to make public their every half formed thought and impulse, but really…?

      Nice tits? We can only hope that this is one of those times when the perceived anonymity (and yes, it is only a perception) entices people to say the most base things that conventional social customs would otherwise prevent them from voicing. Or have I made an egregious misjudgement about you and uttering “nice tits” is how you woo a lady or express your admiration or appreciation? If so, how’s that working out for you?

      No. Most certainly you belong to the crew of bottom-feeders whom have caught wind of this story either by first hand knowledge of what has transpired, or like the parasites responsible, you’ve actively sought out Ms Martin’s content for your own base amusement. Some people would label you a troll for such actions, and as the rule goes, one should never feed a troll, but trolls are not inherently malicious creatures – often antagonistic and abrasive at times, but in the true heart of a troll is the desire to engage rhetoric to stimulate discussion or challenge thought processes. With lols along the way, when possible. You however sir, are a CREEP. One of many, but you are all in your own special way unique in your own depravity and emptiness, seeking to fill that mawing void inside you with the misery of others. You have nothing to contribute to this issue.

      What is it you hope to gain by commenting with “nice tits”? Some misguided way of saying, “You are an attractive woman but I don’t know how to express that because I am a sweaty, unwashed pervert sitting in my semen encrusted underwear in front of a computer filled with every type of porn imaginable because the only way I will ever know the touch of a woman is if a nurse administers me a suppository in the hopes to dislodge the immense backlog of shit that fill me to the point it shrouds my brain and dribbles out of my mouth at times.”

      Surely, that is what you are saying right? Because if you were just saying “nice tits” to antagonise a woman who has, at great cost to her remaining privacy, taken a shot at shining a light on the shocking decay of decency in the world and make a call for it to come to an end, then I guess being you is both your crime and your punishment.

      Go back to fiddling yourself in private. Anonymously. Silently. Better yet, have you thought about autoeroticasphyxiation, just like the way Michael Hutchence and David Carradine did it. You’ll love it. And I’d wager the rest of the world would love hearing about it too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So hot. I cum over every pic u post. u love the attention or u wouldnt take so many pics of ur cleavage spilling out. I support ur right to dress howeva u like becuz ur hot. hot chicks can do whateva they want

    Like

  11. What an ordeal! You are not alone. Any woman (or child) online is vulnerable. Countless numbers have been victimized. God bless you for your courage in speaking up. You may want to set your website so that you can screen comments before they post. At least, that way, the problem will not infect this website. ❤

    Like

  12. Shit like this really makes me dislike men. It’s shitty because even the “decent guys” all participate in these disgusting behaviors.

    Like

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