Police Have Shut Down Revenge Porn Site Anon-IB, But Ohio Still Has No Protections For Victims

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As it stands, Ohio is one of the 12 states left where there is no specific penalty for those posting nude photos online without a subject's consent. Luckily, after a year long investigation, Dutch Police have seized the servers for anonymous image board Anon-IB, the main source of revenge porn uploads.

Anon-IB didn't just share intimate photos of women without their consent, the site kept highly-trafficked logs of the victim's personal information and identities and itemized the forum by cities, neighborhoods, universities, and disgustingly, even high schools.

When Ohio's Katelyn Bowden discovered nude photographs had been stolen off of her ex-boyfriend's phone and uploaded to the internet without her consent, she decided to fight back.

She reported the incident to the police, but says she was met with resistance. In an interview with Wired she explained the situation like this: "They said, ‘did the ex file a police report for the missing phone? Because that’s the only crime that was committed here.'"

And thus, Bowden started a small Facebook group in August of 2017 as an advocacy dedicated to supporting victims of revenge porn. The "Badass" name isn't just a descriptor, it also stands for Battling Against Demeaning and Abusive Selfie Sharing). The Facebook group is now a bonafide non-profit with Bowden serving as president.

Last January, we reported that Sen. Joe Schiavoni planned on introducing a bill to protect victims of revenge porn. For Clevelander, Karie Scroggs, the passing of the bill means safety, after an ex-boyfriend uploaded photos of her on a revenge porn site.

"Everything from my naked body to my age and full name are plastered on the internet and are able to be pulled up within seconds," Scroggs told Scene. "It's terrifying and sets up future potential risks."

In the previously mentioned interview with Wired, Badass co-founder BeLinda Berry discussed why the involvement of Badass in passing this bill is important.

"Victims often get victimized twice by jurisdictional issues," Berry said. "If they live in Cincinnati but their poster lives in Cleveland, the victim is responsible for traveling and taking off work to report it. It’s one of the things we’d really like to see changed."

Given how frequently posters on Anon-IB were featuring women from colleges and universities, this issue of victims and perpetrators not residing in the same location is extremely common.


While the Ohio bill battles it out in legislation, a huge relief for revenge porn victim advocates is the take down of Anon-IB. The site posted an "official" statement on the seizing of their servers, claiming; "We vehemently deny any and all accusations regarding revenge porn, and child pornography. We do not, and we have never advocated or participated in posting and/or sharing of revenge porn or the subject matter as sickening as child pornography."

Badass clapped back immediately, bringing all of Anon-IB's bullshit to the table.


The shutdown of Anon-IB is helpful for the 1 in 25 Americans that have reported someone shareING an intimate image of them online, but Ohio has still yet to pass the bill that would criminalize the perpetrators that share the photos in the first place. This is alarming given that the takedown of Anon-IB is likely not permanent, and the forum is anticipated to pop up again under a different alias.

For Cleveland's Scroggs, this takedown offers a sense of personal relief.

"Still to this day, I get Facebook inbox messages from random people saying, 'Did you know you're on this site? You're fat and disgusting. Gross. Wanna fuck?' The list goes on of what I still have to deal with," she says.

Scroggs has since obtained a restraining order against the ex-boyfriend who uploaded the photos, and criminal charges were filed.

"That was a whole side of me that was only to be shared with the person I cared for. It destroyed me," she stated.

Schiavoni unsuccessfully introduced similar legislation in 2016, which would make sharing revenge porn a felonious offense.

"I never want anyone to have to go through this, especially when such a vulnerable side of you is shown and then brutally dissected for the world to see," stated Scroggs.

The 2018 bill would make the crime a first-degree misdemeanor. Senate Bill 251 is currently referred to the Judiciary Committee.


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