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More victims coming out against Texxxas revenge-porn site

January 25, 2013

When Beaumont attorney John Morgan first heard from Hollie Toups, he had a deeply emotional reaction. “After I interviewed her, I felt like a dad and this was my daughter. … I felt protective,” he told me. “Then I got very, very angry – those people were trying to ruin this young gal’s life.”

By “those people,” Morgan means the unnamed revenge-porn purveyors at Texxxan.com. Toups, 32, is among the untold number of women (and a lesser number of men) who have had their nude photos splashed up on the site, often accompanied by their names and Facebook profiles, for viewers to gawk at.

Morgan is suing Texxxan.com, its yet-to-be-identified administrators, website hosting company GoDaddy.com, and “all subscribing members” to the site. Toups and 16 other women named in the lawsuit claim scorned, vindictive exes took their nude photos and posted them to Texxxan.com, Morgan says. “This site is designed to humiliate them,” he said. “Many of the women feel threatened, afraid, they feel stalked as well as dehumanized.” In some of the images posted the women didn’t even know they were being photographed, Morgan says. “Like, even the innocent act of taking a shower. Snap, that ends up on a website.”

In the week since he filed, claiming invasion of privacy and mental anguish, Morgan’s class-action suit has taken on 13 more women who say their nude photos were posted to the site. He says the women come from Louisiana all the way to Houston and Austin. Morgan expects the lawsuit will draw dozens more victims in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Texxxan.com’s administrators remain unknown. “The registered agent on the site doesn’t exist,” Morgan says. “The name is fake, the address is fake.” Morgan provided me an email he got from a “James Smith” just after 2 am Friday purporting to be the unnamed defendant. It reads:

“Dear Sir,

Just read about your lawsuit against me. I am guessing that Iam the John Doe defendants you have named (but that you didn’t name). So now what?

Just so you know, before all this nonsense started, I made a mirror image of all the info on the website, to include your clients’ photos and their names & addresses, and I have since reposted and rehosted them elsewhere online for all the world to see and, most importantly, enjoy!

I think that this is a great game and I am certain that those girls deserved it 110%. 

So now what?

Sincerely yours”

It’s unclear exactly how a lawsuit like this might shake out. In the past victims have sued over copyright infringement, privacy, and even laws that require pornographers to keep written records to ensure minors are never pictured. But proprietors of revenge porn websites like Texxxan.com currently fall under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides that websites aren’t liable for user-submitted content.

Morgan, who says he wants to take down the entire revenge-porn industry, researched the legal actions against infamous internet dirtbag Hunter Moore (subject of this Village Voice profile) before filing his suit. Moore pulled a bait-n-switch last year, feigning remorse for his notorious site Is Anyone Up when he sold it to an anti-bullying group, vowing he had a change of heart. Last month Moore announced the launching of another revenge porn site, HunterMoore.TV. Along with the routine content, Moore has claimed the site will allow contributors to post the addresses of targets next to their lurid photos, displaying the nudes on a map so viewers can pinpoint exactly where victims live.

I emailed the person claiming to be one of those in charge of the Texxxan.com site, and I’ll update this post if with his response if I get one. Morgan has filed for an injunction to have the site shuttered. The admins have already taken down the content, but that may only be temporary. Admins have posted a barely-readable rant in defense of the site, including that “maybe the site provided an outlet for anger that prevented physical violence.” The site has posted a poll asking the public to weigh in on whether they should relaunch Texxxan.com.

For any revenge-porn victims out there, shoot us an email. We’d love to hear your side of this story. – Michael Barajas

 

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002988705668 Molly Santucci

    If u are stupid enough to send someone naked pics ur deserve what happens

  • disqus_zqpS1nMHaC

    You’re just a bitch.

  • ALPHA

    Molly, you are a dumbass and I mean that in the nicest way. Didn’t you read the article? Most of these Victims had their photo taken behind their backs innocently. These pervs are HATERs because if a BEAUTY leaves them they get all pussy whipped and do something stupid. Fuckin LOSERS. I PRAY these little Pansy Asses have their hands chopped off because of their Idiotic poor excuse for a life. God blind these fools and send the Devil to collect all their FUCKIN EVIL SOULs to shit out for the dogs to eat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/albert.j.longoria Albert J Longoria

    Alpha “Some” not “Most” quit bearing false witness. If your eye offend, well you know the rest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003998430654 Johnny Swift

    She’s a bitch? How about we start living in a society where people take responsibility for their own stupidity??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003998430654 Johnny Swift

    ‘victims’? What are you, nuts? Just look up John Morgan on the internet and you will see what a nut job this guy is. HE is the one ruining those girls lives.
    Alpha, you should exactly like one of the guys who makes posts to those kinds of websites.

  • Taylor

    Ive seen the site. It is sad and disgusting but majority of the girls took the photos themselves. You should never ever send out naked or revealing pictures of yourself. Stuff like this gets sent around through text all the time and of course now that there was a site for it, it is worse. This is a cruel lesson for some of the girls that purposefully sent out revealing pictures of themselves. I have made it 20 years of my life without nasty pictures of me getting around, this can be avoided. If the pictures were taken in secret without your consent than I would understand the trama that this sight could be bringing. But if you took the picture yourself, and sent it to your “special someone’ its on you.

  • James Smith

    My name is James Smith and I am the defendant in the Texxxan.com
    lawsuit. I want all you ladies to understand that I completely do not
    care about you or your problems. Not one bit. John Morgan is just
    using you to grab some headlines. He knows that his lawsuit will go
    nowhere because this website has no legal liability. I owe no legal
    duty to you girls whatsoever. And, again, I do not care about you or
    your problems. This situation is a YP, not an MP.

    I wish you girls had taken the time to Google John Morgan and his
    associate Mr. Klein. If you had you would have seen a website called
    Operation Klein Watch that would have told you all about those two
    jokers. They are the ones responsible for your pain and suffering as
    they sold you a false bill of goods. They made you promises that they
    know they cannot keep. The law in this area is well-settled – I have
    100% immunity from any of your claims.

    When Congress passed this law in 1996 they made a conscious decision
    not to require websites to police user submitted content. It simply is
    not economically feasible. If Facebook with all of its billions of
    dollars cannot do it, how do you expect a guy like me to do it?
    Besides, its called “revenge porn” for a reason. If it were called
    Happy Bunnies Playing than the content would be entirely different. But
    its not.

    The law is what it is and crying and hollering is not going to change
    a thing. If you want to get mad at someone, how about getting mad at
    your ex-‘s for posting that stuff about you? And why didn’t you name
    them in this lawsuit? At least there you would have had a real cause of
    action. Oh, but that would make too much sense, wouldn’t it? That
    would cause you to do something completely unfamiliar like taking
    responsibility for your own actions, right?

    Having read Mr. Morgan’s petition, it is my position that he has no
    viable cause of action. You lawsuit involves a simply claim involving
    property rights and my argument is that those photos are the property of
    the website to whom they were submitted. The boys either took the
    photos themselves (which would make them the owners of the photos
    outright) or the girls took the photos and then gave them to the boys
    (which then also made the boys the owner of the photos). The boys then
    turned around and decided to give the photos to the website; thus,
    transferring ownership to the website.

    To make this understandable let us substitute “a pair of shoes” for
    “naked pictures.” The girls either gave a pair of shoes to the boys or
    the boys had their own pair of shoes. In any event, the boys now have a
    pair of shoes. They then decide to give the shoes to me. Thus, I got
    the shoes.

    This website has not intruded upon anyone’s privacy. If any intrusion was done, it was done by the now ex-boyfriends.

  • Callahan

    “James Smith” needs better lawyers. Intellectual property claims (in particular, the right to publicity which is recognized by Texas courts) are not immunized by Communications Decency Act. Anyone who publishes a nude photo without a signed release from model is buying themselves a lawsuit. John Morgan is going to clean up on this.

  • patteel

    Did you read that some of the pictures were taken without the girls knowledge ? But I do agree it is stupid to send or give nude pictures to another person.