We all know the Internet is forever.
That’s why you’re careful about what you tweet, picky about the photos you share on Instagram, and vigilant about your Facebook privacy settings.
You’ve made absolutely sure you won’t be embarrassed by what shows up when your name is googled…
Until someone else posts an embarrassing photo of you.
No matter how vigilant you are about your own profiles, you can’t control what others post online. A friend could take a quick snapshot of you at a party when you’re not looking, and suddenly a photo of you looking smashed is being shared all over Facebook.
While that friend might remove the photo if you ask nicely, it’s not always that easy. You might be surprised to find out how common it is for cyber bullies, abusers, bitter exes, or even hackers to take unflattering and embarrassing photos and post them online.
Not only is it humiliating to be embarrassed like that in front of millions online, but it can also cause huge problems in your relationships and employment. Imagine a current or potential employer finding those photos when they search for your name, or your significant other coming across a revealing photo you sent to an ex years ago.
Just one photo could get you fired, or ruin a relationship.
And taking care of the problem is still a bit of a legal gray area. Depending on where you were when that photo was taken, and how the person obtained it, there may not be much you can do legally to get the photo removed.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options to protect your job, relationships, and reputation.
Transcript:How to Remove Your Embarrassing Photos from the Internet
It’s easier than ever to share content online – and not just the good kind. Smartphones and apps mean private, and sometimes sensitive, photos can be shared instantly, with just about anyone.
So what can you do about it?
What’s the Problem?
Embarrassing photos posted by
- 29% of Facebook users surveyed in a study by Northwestern University reported losing face from embarrassing content posted by friends.
- 10% of teenagers say they’ve been victimized by others posting unflattering pictures of them online without their consent.
- “Revenge porn – A form of sexual assault that involves the distribution of nude/sexually explicit photos and/or videos of an individual without their consent.”
13% of adults have had private content shared with others without their consent.
1 in 10 former partners have threatened to post sexually explicit photos online.
60% of these threats have been carried out according to a recent McAfee study.
This can lead to:
- Dismissal from work
- Affected job prospects
- Loss of self-esteem
What Can You Do About It?
- Report/remove the tag.
- Ask a friend to remove it.
- Send an email to email@example.com.
- Submit a complaint via the Facebook Intellectual Property Infringement Form.
- Post in the Help community and get advice from other users and Facebook staff.
- Submit a complaint via the Facebook Terms Violation Reporting Form.
- Select “Hide from My Profile” to de-tag.
- Choose “More Options” Button.
- Choose “Remove Me from Photo”.
- Report photo as inappropriate.
- Try to get the content officially removed.
- Remove or bury unwanted search results.
- Create profiles and pages on popular social sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Google+ and Blogger.
- Access https://support.twitter.com/forms/abusiveuser.
- Select the relevant option, i.e. “I am being directly mentioned.”
- Fill out the relevant form and submit a report to Twitter.
What Does the Law Say?
The European Court of Justice ruled in favour of a Spanish man who requested to have details of his repossessed house removed from Google. This has paved the way for any EU citizen to request that Google remove personal details.
A ruling by the Koblenz higher regional court in Germany ordered a man to delete nude pictures of his ex-partner, even though he had no intention of publishing them online, setting an important precedent.
Remember, prevention is the best cure.
Be careful who you allow to view your profile and post on your wall.
Avoid taking photos that can be misused at a later date.
- Here’s How to Get Google to Remove Embarrassing Search Links about you – businessinsider.com
- End revenge porn – endrevengeporn.org
- How to report things – facebook.com
- Help Community – facebook.com
- Removing Content From Google – google.com
- Cyber Bullying Statistics – kidpointz.com
- How to Fix Internet Embarrassments and Improve Your Online Reputation – lifehacker.com
- The Online Activity That Keeps You Unemployed – mashable.com
- Lovers Beware: Scorned Exes May Share Intimate Data And Images Online – mcafee.com
- Steps for Contacting Popular Websites and Requesting the Removal of Pictures/Videos – needhelpnow.ca
- Social Networking and Children Concerns – netsanity.net
- Help Center: I’m Reporting an Abusive User – twitter.com
- How to Hide and Remove Tagged Instagram Photos From Your Profile – wired.com
- FAQ – withoutmyconsent.org