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'Revenge porn' site Texxxan.com and host GoDaddy targeted in class-action lawsuit

End Revenge Porn

A group of 23 women have signed on to a class-action lawsuit in the hopes of putting a dent in the practice of "revenge porn" — a rather despicable type of online pornography that consists of user-submitted pictures, usually of an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend and usually without the subject's permission. According to The Houston Chronicle, the suit targets the revenge porn site Texxxan.com as well as its host, GoDaddy.com; it additionally names unidentified defendants including "the persons and/or entities hosting Texxxan.com" and "all subscribing members." "I'm going after the revenge porn industry," attorney John S. Morgan said. "The only way to destroy this industry is to go after the people who fund it."

Taking on this industry has been a challenge. Many victims prefer not to pursue the sites hosting their pictures for fear of having their identities revealed. There's also the constant fear of the offending ex-lover finding more motivation for continued harassment. In the case of the Texxxan.com lawsuit, plaintiff Hollie Toups told BetaBeat that the site said it would remove her pictures after she entered her credit card information — an offense that helped spur Toups to go public with her plight and sign on with the class-action lawsuit. "I went from being depressed and embarrassed to being really pissed off," she said.

"I went from being depressed and embarrassed to being really pissed off."

At the moment, Texxxan.com is running in "members only maintenance mode," due to "extremely large amounts of traffic" — though it wouldn't surprise us if the site was down due to lawsuit-related issues. Unfortunately, taking down GoDaddy.com in this case will likely be a difficult battle — there isn't a lot of precedent for making a site's host responsible for the content of the site itself. And as a "respectable" company, GoDaddy will likely draw a lot less attention than Texxxan.com in this case — though the site seems likely to just argue that it is hosting the pictures, and the real responsibility lies with those who uploaded the pics in the first place. That's exactly the logic that Hunter Moore, the proprietor of revenge porn site "Is Anyone Up" gave to BetaBeat in an interview last month.

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