The popularity of web-cam sites has lead to an increase in instances of gay men seeking help with getting images removed from the internet. Kernaghan and Associates Principal Solicitor Aaron Kernaghan has been called upon to give advice and take action on behalf of clients who have had their web-cam chats posted far-and-wide:
“We’ve had an increasing number of these cases, where guys have been having video chats that they thought were private or limited to a certain number of select other people only to discover their video chat has been recorded and ended up on an overseas-based website where it is being sold as pornography,” said Aaron Kernaghan.
Many of these video chats are happening on apparently ordinary websites available through Australia or the US. The challenges that arise are complex and involved but it is possible to remove the images.
“Just because you have a video chat with someone, or with a group of people, doesn’t necessarily mean you have lost your rights to privacy or ownership over what content you have created, no matter how explicit or sexual the video chat may be. The important thing to remember is that the sooner you get onto tracking down the improper use of your video footage, the easier it is to stop the images spreading throughout the internet,” said Kernaghan.
The increased instance of young gay men using video chats facilities that end up with a sexually explicit recording of them doing the rounds in porn sites is a frightening and often unknown risk –
“Young guys don’t have any indication that this might happen, no-one is told of the dangers and often people learn about them far too late. The number of distressed gay men who seek our assistance is only increasing and so very sad for them. Many of these young gay men are still finding their identities, or maybe haven’t even come out to their families, and yet they find themselves being broadcast all over the planet without their knowledge or permission. It’s frightening and embarrassing for them and genuinely distressing,” said Kernaghan.
Getting videos and images removed from the web isn’t easy. Many young men report having tried to contact the websites only to be baffled by legalese and a response that shuts them down. But a lot of that is nonsense and bluster, says Kernaghan:
“To a certain extent, once your images or video are out there, they’re out there, but there are a number of steps, some quite complex, that we take for our clients that get good result. More often than not result in the images being removed. Most recently we were able to close down an entire website which was built off the back of taking recordings of video chat and putting them on a website where those videos were then sold.”
If you need assistance and help with your online presence, be sure to seek legal advice quickly, time is of the essence. Contact us for a free consultation today: (02)4244-0339.