We received an anonymous personal account this week from a woman who'd read about Reddit's "fusking" of private nude photographs that had been uploaded to PhotoBucket. The tipster had had a similar experience, only with a website we'd never heard of. PinkMeth.com (very NSFW), she wrote, had stolen nude photographs she'd never intended to be made public, and then—adding insult to a privacy breach she might never had known existed otherwise—linked to her Facebook profile so that her identity was matched to the embarrassment.
Here's her story:
One night about a month ago my mother called me, sounding distressed and mortified. "[We received] a very disturbing phone call," she told me. She proceeded to tell me a man, a complete stranger, had called and asked for me, after he'd seen my profile on a website called pinkmeth.com.
There had been a snapshot of my Facebook profile page, featured prominently on this site. The man saw the town my parents were from and looked up their phone number online. He claimed he was acting as a "Good Samaritan" because his own girlfriend had lost her job after pinkmeth posted her naked photos and contact information online. He didn't want it to happen to anyone else.
I nearly died on the other end of the phone. How embarrassing, my parents had seen naked photos of me online, and wanted to know where they came from. I assured them I didn't put them up at all, ended the uncomfortable conversation, and hung up the phone. I immediately started panicking and looked at my featured page on the site. Sure enough, there I was, naked as a jaybird for anyone to see. As if that wasn't bad enough, someone had kindly taken a snapshot of my facebook front page, included a link, and also attached a link to my Google+ profile.
Even more annoying, the photos were from a private, password-protected photobucket account which I had created over five years ago and completely forgotten about. I had put the pictures up to share with my boyfriend. Whoops?
I immediately deleted my photobucket account, changed my full name on facebook (by this point, I already had a half dozen friend requests from weird guys all around the world...) and deleted my Google+ profile. Thank GOD they didn't find my LinkedIn account.
I emailed the site master asking him to take my content down. He replied, minutes later, "Nope!"
I started commenting on my pinkmeth "page" to try and inform other visitors that I did not approve of this content being online. My comments were promptly deleted and my page remained up.
I filed a DMCA complaint upon the suggestion of the man who called my parents, and sent a copy to the sitemaster. Nothing.
Since then, I've done research. I'm not the only one who's upset about this website. There are many other women who have taken similar action with the webmaster and had the same results as I have.
The site totally disgusts me. Not only did they steal MY photos, but they stole naked photos of me, and linked the photos to my personal information. I don't have a problem with an online presence, but being "presented" in this way makes me seem like I'm some type of easy, slutty woman—which I'm not. It calls negative attention to me. The photos were in an album I presumed to be private. I didn't intend on sharing them with the world, only with my boyfriend. It seemed easier than emailing them to him. And, since I don't frequently look at my photobucket (99 percent of my photos are on facebook), I completely forgot they were there until it was too late. I wish I had never put them online in the first place, but hindsight is 20/20.
A friend of mine emailed me the Reddit article about fusking and I realized I wasn't alone. At least, on that site, they kept the girl's private information off. I wasn't so lucky.
Pink Meth's site has a submission form that seems to allow for the same kinds of vindictive entries that made Hunter Moore's now defunct Is Anyone Up so notorious last year. With a few basic (and easily bullshitted) pieces of personal information, anyone is free to submit anyone else's photos. The form also requires an example of "Internet Presence," though it's unclear whether or not it has to be connected to the submitter himself. There's also a key box to check at the end: "Person whose entry I'm submitting to Pinkmeth.com was at least 18 years old at the time when the content was produced."
It's almost an afterthought.