Whether you are a public figure or a celebrity confidential photos can sometimes wind up on the internet and regardless of your fame level it can be extremely detrimental. It can harm your family, your career, and since it is the internet there is a chance of it following you for the rest of your life. These are the four top things you must do when private photos end up online.
- Act Immediately
Next step, if possible, is to consult an attorney and see if they can help you draft a “takedown notice”. This is a formal request sent to the site administrator to remove the content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If the photos are sexually explicit then it would be a good idea for you, and your lawyer, to do some research into your state’s revenge porn laws. Depending on these laws it is possible that you could sue the site administrators for allowing the content to be uploaded.
- Take Advantage of SEO Techniques
SEO articles, blog posts, and even social media posts are meant to bring positive content to the front of search engine results thus pushing all the content that you don’t want seen farther back. This makes it more difficult for people to view the photos if you’re having an issue with the site administrators taking them down immediately. In order for SEO techniques to work properly the negative content must never ever be linked to. It could disrupt the whole process and possibly cause the negative content to end up in the first few pages of search results. Always link to your positive content which would be your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Address the Situation
Staying one step ahead of everyone is the way to beat negative content from growing a life of its own. If the negative content is impacting your business, or if you already live your life day to day in the public spotlight, the best line of action to take would be hiring a Public Relations specialist. They have the knowledge and power to guide you through this ordeal. They are trained to help you recover your reputation on and offline and can help with any blowback that might have been caused by the negative content. If for some reason the negative content is leaked to the media then assume responsibility and explain you are doing everything in your power to fix the situation.
Now that the worst is over there are precautions that need to be set in place. Passwords need to be changed, rarely used accounts need to be deleted, anything that could prevent this situation from happening again must be done. Make sure to keep an eye on privacy settings no matter what website you are visiting, especially when it comes to social media. Sites like Facebook are constantly changing their privacy policies. If the situation affected your company then internet and social media usage should be examined as well as implementing some user guidelines.
Darius Fisher is the creator of the online reputation management firm known as Status Labs. They handle many high profile cases all across the country and even overseas. Fisher is no stranger to online reputation management so he can connect with clients who may feel violated after having private information leaked online. StatusLabs helps over 1,500 clients and the company does what they can to repair a reputation that may have taken decades to build.
This article was originally posted on Huffington Post and can be read here.