One of the sites in question, even laid out like Facebook with a stolen model photo
There are now quite a few websites where people take photos of girls from Facebook and upload them to blogs. Some of these sites are pure privacy invasion, just personal photos of girls from their Facebook pages. Some mix photos of real girls and models, effectively crowd-sourcing softcore porn. With Facebook, people have started posting and identifying photos of themselves. This includes a lot of boys being boys and girls being girls. However, Facebook only gives the illusion of being a wall garden, there are plenty of cats and dogs that can get in and out. Thus you get people taking photos out of semi-private Facebook into the more public world of blogs.
This is an age where an inadvertent sex tape can lead to a career (a la Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton), but in Sri Lanka it’s more likely to scuttle any serious work prospects. In the west people already check Facebook before hiring, 79% of employers according to a Microsoft survey. This practice may not be as prevalent in Sri Lanka, but the email forward is ubiquitous at offices and a girls reputation is quite easy to damage.
Many of the photos on these sites are simply profile pictures and names, some risque and some not. As reluctant as I am to publicize these sites, it seems pointless to discuss without linking and I have also included info on how to report and block these sites in the future. That said, one site, FBKello, seems to have around 900 profiles from around Sri Lanka with photos, real names and links. They also invite people to ‘submit’ links to other girls pages. Another site, sekylk.info mixes stolen private photos with (presumably copyrighted) model photos, both local and international.
This is illegal under copyright law, but this is very much disregarded online anyways. The more serious issue is that these are photos of people taken without their permission. That is, unlike movie or music piracy online, this hurts individuals.
It is, however, possible to take these sites down. Blogger has a way to report abuse, one category of which is someone posting private information. It seems, however, that the person themselves has to report the abuse. Another site, sl-sluts.blogspot.com, seemed to have been driven underground by this reporting.
Just as inevitably, though, these sites spring up again, and the photos keep circulating. At some level, girls (and boys) may want to think twice about posting drunken or debauched photos of themselves as they may get around. People should also be careful about friending only people they know and controlling their privacy settings on Facebook. On some level, however, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was correct when he said that privacy was no longer a social norm.
There are generations that are growing up and growing used to living their lives in public. Even this generation, however, seems to take offense to their private photos being used for public perving. Recently, the Daily Mirror reported over 50 complaints against Facebook itself, which seem to be misdirected. The problem is that people are subverting Facebook’s controls and putting photos on the wider Internet.