More than two dozen women have joined a class-action lawsuit against Texxxan.com saying intimate photos of them were uploaded by slimy ex-beaus.
By Carol Kuruvilla / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Sunday, January 27, 2013, 9:01 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013, 9:01 AM
Marianna Taschinger’s boyfriend wanted naked photos of her. She had only been dating the guy for a few months, so she didn’t feel comfortable sending him nude pictures of herself. But after days of coaxing, she grudgingly did what he asked.
Several weeks later, Taschinger found out that those private pictures had been posted online on Texxxan.com, along with her first name, last initial and details about where she lived. The online user, whom Taschinger believes is her now former boyfriend, called her one of his “exploits.”
“He called me a slut and promised to post more of me,” Taschinger told the Beaumont Enterprise. “He said he’d post more pictures if people ‘liked’ what he’d posted so far.”
Taschinger is one of more than two dozen women who plan on filing a class-action lawsuit against the website Texxxan.com, its host, GoDaddy.com, and individual users who post content on the site. They allege that the site is “significantly designed to cause severe embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional distress,” according to a petition filed in the district court of Orange County, Tex.
“None of these women consented to having their photos used,” John Morgan, the lawyer involved with the case, told the Wall Street Journal, “This site has to be shut down.”
Texxxan.com is just one of many “revenge porn” sites, where jealous exes and computer hackers anonymously post and “rate” pornographic images of women. The photos are often posted without consent and include links to the victim’s social-media accounts, which makes the women very traceable.
Before Morgan announced his intention to file a lawsuit, anyone could rate and comment on the photos on Texxxan.com without paying a subscription fee. The galleries were organized by regions in Southeast Texas. This Friday, the site started restricting access to the public. Only paid subscribers can enter Texxxan.com now, The Enterprise reports.
GoDaddy.com has not responded to the Daily News’ requests for comments. Morgan has not been able to identify Texxxan.com’s owners.
On Saturday, a message on the site’s landing page said that the website creators are now assessing the situation. The message claimed that the website was merely a “framework” and that its users were the ones responsible for the “disheartening” submissions.
The message then put forward this proposal:
“Maybe [sic] the site provided an outlet for anger that prevented physical violence (this statement will be very controversial but is at least worth thinking about),” the message said.
The website said that it is currently asking internet users to vote on whether the site should be “relaunched” or “killed.” According to a poll that is featured on the site, a majority of users want the site to relaunch.
Morgan says the site has caused his clients considerable emotional distress.
Hollie Toups, a 32-year-old grad student from Nederland, Tex., found out through a friend that her private photos were appearing on Texxxan.com.
“I shut everyone off but my mom,” Toups told the WSJ. When people said hello to her in public, she wondered, “Is it because they are polite or have seen me topless?”
Some of the women involved in the case have lost their jobs after pictures of them surfaced online, Morgan told The Enterprise. He plans to seek compensation for those losses.
“I just can’t imagine why someone would do this to anyone,” Toups told ABCNews.