Mommy blogger revenge porn

An argument I often hear in defense of revenge porn is that if the victim didn’t want people to see the photos, they should have kept their clothes on. The line of thinking is that anyone found on a revenge porn website is some kind of exhibitionist slut-o-rama anyway, so if they complain it’s probably just sour grapes. Utah mom Melissa Esplin‘s situation proves that this rationale is bullshit. Esplin is a calligrapher, parenting blogger and mom of two, and recently she’s been fighting to get numerous sexually explicit and 100% fake photos of her taken down from a well-known revenge porn site. The way I see it, if it can happen to her, it can happen to any of us.

Like many other revenge porn victims, Esplin didn’t realize this was going on until she woke up one morning to an inbox filled with perverts propositioning her for sex (or worse). The worst part is that whoever targeted her took legit and totally innocuous photos she had posted on her website, MelissaEsplin.com, and photo-shopped in the nudity. Esplin quickly contacted the site to have the photos removed, only to be asked to pay a $400 fee.

This type of obvious extortion is nothing new. Revenge porn king pin and all around douche bag Hunter Moore was recently arrested for running a similar scam, and according to reports he or an associate may have been behind many of the fake, photo-shopped photos. 

Obviously Esplin is concerned about how these photos will impact her business. Her blog is popular with both parents and craft fans and she also runs an online calligraphy business (she’s super talented too, you should check out her work). Still, Esplin has refused to kowtow to cyber-bullying and says she won’t be extorted. She has some excellent words of advice for anyone else going through this nightmare:

“My hope is that anyone who has been victimized by cyber-bullying in the past, present or future will know they’re not alone.There are things we can do about it (although I wish DDOS-ing the website in question were an option). Speak up and don’t take crap from bullies!”.

Esplin has done everything she can to rectify this situation, including getting the FBI involved, but unfortunately there is little they can do. The site is registered overseas, as most revenge porn sites are now, so the onus is on the country where the site is hosted to take action.

I wish there were more I could say or do to help Esplin, but there isn’t. What I can say, to all the  lovely pieces of humanity who try to write this subject off as “bitches getting their comeuppance,” is that this could happen to anyone. As I think this whole mommy blogger revenge porn saga proves, it could happen to your sister, your mother, your wife, your girlfriend. Hell, it doesn’t just happen to women, men are targeted frequently too. It could happen to anyone. Even you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eVPCCxduIE

(Photo: YouTube)