Feedback
News

'Revenge Porn' Site Ordered to Pay Ohio Woman $385,000

The founders of a so-called "revenge porn" site were ordered by a federal judge in Ohio to pay almost $400,000 to a woman who said the site posted nude pictures of her when she was a minor.

U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost entered a default judgment Tuesday against Kevin C. Bollaert of San Diego and Eric S. Chanson of Princeton Junction, N.J., who ran You Got Posted, a site where embarrassing photos of ordinary people were posted with the threat that they would stay up indefinitely unless subjects paid a hefty fee.

The judgment was first reported Wednesday by the technology site Ars Technica.

The woman and her father, whose identities haven't been disclosed, sued the men (.pdf) last May in Columbus, Ohio, for distributing "sexually explicit images" of her when she was 16.

The suit didn't say how much You Got Posted tried to charge the woman to take down her pictures.

Bollaert and Chanson couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

In a warrant filed when Bollaert was arrested in California in December on 31 counts of identity theft, extortion and conspiracy, a state investigator said Bollaert boasted that he lived "off the grid" and said Chanson was no longer involved with the company.

Subjects who complained about You Got Posted were referred to a second website, called Change My Reputation — also allegedly owned by Bollaert and Chanson — which offered to remove the photos for payments of $250 to $350, according to the California arrest affidavit (.pdf).

In his ruling Tuesday, Frost ordered the men to pay the woman $150,000 for each of two allegations of child pornography, $10,000 for violating the woman's "right of publicity" and $75,000 in punitive damages, for a total of $385,000.

He also ordered them to remove her photos and permanently enjoined them from posting them anywhere.

That last order is probably moot. You Got Posted (under several different domain names that redirected to the site) and Change My Reputation were both taken down in their entirety last year, according to domain registration records.