Tens of thousands of nudes stolen from women, LGBT+ people and OnlyFans stars. Now they’ve been leaked online

Patrick Kelleher
·3-min read

A digital protest is being organised in Ireland to demand that image-based sexual abuse be banned after tens of thousands of nudes were stolen from women, LGBT+ people and OnlyFans stars only to then be leaked online.

An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force, has said it is investigating the mass sharing of images. It is understood that the folder – which reportedly includes images of minors – has been shared on social networking websites, including Discord.

Some of the nudes were taken without the knowledge of the victims, while others were stolen from platforms including OnlyFans, Tinder, WhatsApp and Instagram, according to TheJournal.ie.

A digital protest is set to take place on Zoom on 28 November, and the event will also be live-streamed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

‘One person army’ rallies support for a digital protest after OnlyFans stars, LGBT+ people and women have nudes leaked.

The organiser of the rally, who has requested that their name and identifying details not be released by media, said in a statement: “I am a one person army and I only have my own story to tell. There are many others who deserve a platform.

“The bottom line is this: the government are turning a blind eye to the people they are supposed to protect. It has become an integrated belief in Irish society that leaking nudes is just banter or acceptable behaviour.

“We should not stand for this. It is time to campaign for revenge porn laws to be established and the time is now. I would also like to add that this movement WILL campaign for sex worker rights.”

The organiser also said that TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) and sex-work exclusionary activists would not be welcome at the protest.

I am a one person army and I only have my own story to tell. There are many others who deserve a platform.

Those who are interested in watching the protest livestream can find more details through the group’s Facebook event page.

The Victims Alliance, an advocacy organisation in Ireland, has said it is attempting to identify all the victims of the major leak and is making efforts to contact those who have had their images shared without consent.

The group also said that some of the images have already been uploaded to porn websites. Linda Hayden, co-rounder of the organisation, told TheJournal.ie that they are extremely concerned for the mental wellbeing of those who had their images leaked.

Victims of image abuse are left ‘without protection’ under Irish law.

Image-based sexual abuse – often referred to as “revenge porn” – is a criminal offence in England, Wales and Scotland.

However, the abusive practice remains legal in the Republic of Ireland. Speaking to Newstalk radio in August, minister for justice Helen McEntee said that legislation would be enacted banning the practice by the end of 2020.

In a statement released on Thursday (19 November), the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) said: “The absence of effective laws criminalising online harassment means the perpetrators often go unpunished and victims are left without protection or justice.”

The organisation said it was “deeply troubled” by the news that tens of thousands of sexual images had been shared online, and added: “The creation and/or distribution of private sexual images without consent is not revenge porn, it’s image-based sexual abuse.”