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Social Media Site Reveals 300 Anonymous Users’ Personal Info To Revenge Porn Victim

A social media site reportedly revealed the account information of roughly 300 once-anonymous users to a revenge porn victim, after a Manhattan judge ordered it in June.

The victim, a 27-year-old from New York who remains unidentified, says a decade-old video showing her and her then-boyfriend having sex wasn’t removed from Tumblr for months, according to the New York Post. She also says she was 17 at the time and believes the footage was posted by her now-ex-boyfriend.

The video, which was reportedly shared at least 1,200 times, caused her to receive weird messages on the platform with creepy remarks such as “Did you like the way his cock felt? Sure looks like you did.”

The New York Post credits itself for essentially forcing Tumblr to remove the pornographic content for first reporting the victim’s story.

Tumblr also seems to have outed the users only because Manhattan Supreme Court Justice David Cohen ruled in June that they must so she can sue the involved users over the privacy breach. Tumblr notified users only around two weeks prior that it would be releasing some of their private data by July 10th.

“It had a huge emotional toll on me,” the plaintiff told The Post. “I went through months when I was feeling really depressed.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy rights group, wanted to delay the release of the users’ info.

“Loss of anonymity irreparably harms speakers and discourages other speakers from exercising their own anonymous speech rights,” EFF attorney Frederic B. Jennings wrote in a July 6 letter to Cohen, according to The Post. (RELATED: Bill Would End Online Porn As We Know It, Unless You Pay The Gov’t)

Judge Cohen, though, did not grant the delay request.

“There is no First Amendment protection for child porn,” the plaintiff’s attorney Daniel Szalkiewicz reportedly argued. “The ultimate goal is to expose these people.”

Ashkhen Kazaryan, an affiliated fellow at TechFreedom, a nonprofit think tank, agrees that the freedom of speech argument doesn’t apply here because the plaintiff was 17 while in the video.

“Another crucial thing to note is that this decision has no precedential value since it is from a New York state court and doesn’t have to be followed in federal or any other state courts,” Kazaryan told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Moreover, Tumblr didn’t show up in court and simply complied with the order, even though it could have refused to do so without liability due to the safe harbor in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.” (RELATED: Orlando Nightclub Victim Families Sue Facebook, Twitter, Google For Providing ‘Material Support’ To ISIS)

The particular statute she refers to exempts tech companies, specifically online platforms, from any liability if a user engages in illegal activity while using their service. So while the First Amendment didn’t completely apply here, other laws on the books could have.

Similar situations have arisen before, including in other parts of the world. (RELATED: Facebook Thinks It Solved The Revenge Porn Problem)

An Amsterdam District Court in the Netherlands ordered Facebook in March to hand over all remaining information pursuant to a revenge porn case, after the social media company originally contended that almost all details were deleted 90 days after the account was terminated.

Japan also implemented new rules in 2014 pertaining to revenge porn because many people, especially teenage girls, have been victimized over the years. The legislation, among other things, empowers internet service providers with the ability to delete images suspected of being revenge porn without the uploader’s consent.

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