XXX in Tech

We Will Take Down This Photo of Revenge Porn Proprietor Craig Brittain If He Pays Us $250

Just kidding.
A very "old" photo of Mr. Brittain.

A very “old” photo of Mr. Brittain.

Here at Betabeat, we’ve done some extensive reporting on the scourge of “revenge porn” websites, places where scorned exes or angry friends can upload intimate photos of women–and sometimes men–without their consent. Victims of revenge porn have been sexually and violently harassed, lost jobs and friends and even had to change their names because their photos ended up on one of the numerous revenge porn hubs.

Now, many women are bravely fighting back in a class action lawsuit against one site and its hosting provider, GoDaddy. Hackers, lawyers and activists are working diligently to confront a complex legal issue. Still, revenge porn sites continue to operate largely unaffected, despite the fact that more and more victims are speaking out about what happened to them.

“I call it entertainment,” Craig Brittain, the proprietor of Is Anybody Down, told CBS News earlier this week. “We don’t want anyone shamed or hurt, we just want the pictures there for entertainment purposes and business. I would say our business goal is to become big and profitable.”

Mr. Brittain also allegedly runs a service, Takedown Hammer, which charges $250 to remove the photos. He claimed Takedown Hammer is helmed by a New York-based lawyer named David Blade III, but several news outlets (including ours) have attempted to track him down and determined that no such person exists. Recently Mr. Brittain admitted Takedown Hammer is run by one of his friends.

In the post that we wrote about victims coming out against Is Anybody Down, Mr. Brittain himself took to our comments section. He did not defend his actions or seek to shed some light on just why he’s decided to make a living ruining other people’s lives. Instead, he took issue with the photo we had used of him, which he said was very old.

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 3.55.07 PM

We find it rich that Mr. Brittain would take issue with the photo, given that he makes money publishing photos of others without their consent, right next to contact information and screencaps of their Facebook profiles. Mr. Brittain has said in interviews that his site helps desensitize people to intimate photos so that having naked pictures on the web won’t hinder getting hired. To get so miffed by a clothed picture of yourself that you’re compelled to leave a comment about it seems particularly laughable in comparison.

So, we’ll swap out the old photo for a new one–if you pay our “friend” $250.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com