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CBS13 Investigates: Revenge Porn

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Christina Anderson Christina Anderson
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Private pictures were exposed without a woman’s consent.

“I wanted to throw up,” says one anonymous woman.

Provocative poses and sexy scenes intended for her boyfriend’s eyes only are now out there for everyone to see.

She remembers, “I was disgusted.”

Warning: This video contains graphic material

For many it’s a case of what’s called revenge porn.

That’s when a bitter ex-lover sends photos or videos to a pornographic website with the goal of embarrassment and shame.

Names, phone numbers, workplaces and Facebook pages are often published along with the pictures.

That’s what Tara Nicole says happened to her in January of 2012.

But her photos weren’t sent to a site by an angry ex; she says they were stolen from her Facebook account.

“Ah, I was, it was like that feeling where your heart drops to your stomach and you don’t know what to do,” says Tara.

She says http://www.isanyoneup.com took two risqué photos belonging to someone else, and combined them with a photo of her fully clothed.

The result was a humiliating online misrepresentation.

Tara says “I was upset, angry … saying it was me and it wasn’t. I didn’t know what to do.”

Tara says her close friends and family knew those nude photos weren’t of her; she claims they were of her friend.

But the fallout from exposure by the revenge porn site hit her hard.

“On Facebook I got over 400 messages, from people around the world … a lot of creepy ones … scared me a little bit.”

The stress forced her to quit school and she became anti-social.

“The first time I left my house I was at a Starbucks and this guy says ‘hey, I saw you naked.’”

The biggest change came in her personality.

“I really didn’t want to leave my house and have fingers pointed at me.”

She stayed inside her northern California home, devoting much of her time to finding ways to get her photos taken down.

“Hunter Moore posted these pictures claiming it was me” she says.

Hunter Moore is a Woodland resident and former owner of http://www.isanyoneup.com.

The 27 year old lives at home with his parents, which is where we tried to get his side of this story.

Moore refused to answer the door, instead choosing to tweet “news crew in front of my house banging on my door. just called the cops” and “i should have answered the door naked.”

The police arrived in a matter of minutes, and when they knocked, Moore again refused to answer the door.

He talked about it on his podcast saying in part “soon as the cops are knocking on the door you know they’re f—ing’ … so I’m like f— that! That would just be amazing for them. And it was 13, CBS13.”

But he was watching from a second-floor window.

He snapped a photo of our producer and photojournalist talking with his dad, which he then tweeted.

His dad told us Hunter wasn’t going to talk.

Hunter talks about that on his podcast too: “So I’m sittin’ there blowing my dad up. ‘stop talking to them, like f— that…”

Tara continued to fight, even emailing Moore.

READ: See the email exchange.

“I had to say something … tell him it isn’t right … ruining peoples’ lives and making a joke out of,” she says.

But she soon realized there was very little she could do.

Sites like these are protected by the Communications Decency Act of 1996, section 230.

Activist Dr. Charlotte Laws says that needs to change.

“You’re like being raped over and over again every time someone looks at your pictures it’s like you’re being victimized again and again.”

WATCH: Dr. Charlotte Laws Discuses What You Can Do To Fight Back

People like Moore have escaped liability because the damaging content on their sites generally is uploaded by the user.

Dr. Laws says “the problem with revenge porn is it’s really basically not a criminal act. It’s basically a civil act.”

A civil suit could cost a victim tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses and even more exposure.

So for now victims of revenge porn sites, like Tara, will have to wait.

“I just have to hope this goes away and doesn’t show back up on the internet.”

Dr. Laws and a group of advocates are working with officials to get legislation enacted to give more protection to victims.

The website http://www.isanyoneup.com is now down; James McGibney, the owner of http://www.bullyville.com bought it just to kill it, then turn it into a resource for victims of revenge porn.

And Moore is still out there with a new site, exploiting willing, and possibly unwilling participants alike.

We’ve confirmed the FBI raided his house this summer and is investigating his activities, so he may be looking at criminal charges down the road.

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