How to Unmask the Internet’s Vilest Characters

In June 2009, Lani (a nickname) got a Facebook message from a stranger alerting her to nude photos of herself that had been posted on a Web site called Private Voyeur — along with her name, her workplace and the city she lives in. The post, titled “Jap Slut,” was published anonymously by someone who used a proper noun followed by numbers as an Internet handle.Lani went to the police. She suspected that the poster was an ex-boyfriend who, she says, threatened to kill himself if she didn’t pose for naked photographs toward the end of their abusive relationship. According to Lani, when the police questioned her ex-boyfriend, he said that he had distributed the photos among his friends but that he wasn’t the one who put them on the Web. The police then told Lani they couldn’t help her, so she contacted Private Voyeur, which agreed to take the post down. A few months later, though, a new post appeared, with the same photographs and the same information identifying her.

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