Satan’s New Scheme: Parasite Pornography
Satan’s at it again! He’s come up with a new scheme to confuse the world and to distort God’s purposes, but this time he’s using you…or at least someone who looks exactly like you, to do it.
Parasite Porn is his weapon of choice and your face is at the forefront. Parasite porn is a new porn trend in which photo editing technology is used to steal your photos from social media platforms and then superimpose your face (or the faces of your loved ones) onto explicit and pornographic material. These modified images of “you” are then distributed to various internet porn websites and are available to anyone with internet access.
The extra trouble is that these modified photos also get tied to the original internet profiles they were stolen from — such as Facebook, Instagram, and Linked-In. This tricky tactic ties your name and face together in the eyes of any viewer (like a future employer) as an internet porn star.
It Can Happen to Anyone
The sad reality is that there have already been so many innocent victims and lives negatively affected by Parasite Pornography. Take Australian Law Student, Noelle Martin, who decided to do a Reverse Image Google search of herself, only to find her photos on pornographic websites.
But the photos she found weren’t explicit images that she had taken as you’d seen in revenge porn. Rather, Noelle found images of her face stolen from innocent photos (think of that harmless selfie of you and your bestie at the Disney on Ice performance) that had been put on another person’s naked body, and one that was performing explicit sexual acts.
As if this was bad enough, when Noelle went to her local police they told her to contact the webmaster to get the images taken down. They said that there was almost nothing they could do about it. Noelle did confront the webmaster but he agreed to take the images down only if she sent him explicit images of herself. Thankfully, Noelle refused to play his game.
Noelle’s story is sad and highlights several dangers of lenient or careless internet use, the near permanent effects of internet crimes (Noelle is still fighting to get these images taken down), and the need for greater (or at least more definite) laws on adult pornography.
You Can Avoid Becoming a Victim
You can avoid becoming a victim of parasite porn and other sexual exploitation scams by taking simple precautions and following some (or all!) of these suggestions:
- Revisit the Data Sharing and Privacy Settings on all of your internet.
Make sure to change your photo settings to allow for only those you completely trust to see your photos. Make your profile private so that you have to personally approve any viewers to your social media pages. If you’re not sure who to allow as a follower and who to decline, ask yourself these 2 questions (1) Do I know this person personally? And (2) Do I trust this person? If the answer to either of these questions is “no”, it’s best to decline the request. Remember that one of the gifts of the Spirit is to help you discern between truth and error, which includes “perceiving the true character of people…”
- Unlink your Internet Profiles.
Linked accounts are easier for webmasters to hack and access. Unlinking your profiles makes it more difficult for webmasters tie your name to the fake images they’ve created.
- Be Selective about the Information you Share
This is becoming increasingly uncommon as more people tend to share information about themselves and their lives on social platforms. Be careful about sharing sensitive information about yourself. Also, be careful about sharing basic information such where you are and who you’re with. Hackers can utilize the info you share in more of their schemes and find more victims.
- Use More Intelligent Passwords
Passwords like Max1234, KiKi1, and 01/01/1988 just aren’t going to cut it anymore. As technology advances so does our ability to hack it. Make sure to change up your passwords often and try not to use the same ones for multiple accounts. Doing so leaves you hypothetically naked and afraid in the technological wilderness.
Taking the time do to this will protect you and your loved ones from heartache and lengthy legal battles.
The Legal Trouble of Parasite Porn
Aside from infringing on privacy and consent laws, Parasite Pornography also skirts the border of child pornography laws. Most countries strictly prohibit any kind of child pornography, but few have any kind of guideline regarding adult pornography. As in other things, this leaves teenagers at high risk. Here’s how:
If I had a photo stolen that pictured 17-year-old me, but I looked 20 in the photo, would this be considered child pornography? It’s difficult to say because the law likely couldn’t prove I was actually 17 at the time. In this case, the law can’t prosecute the offender for creating and distributing child porn. There’s a little justice in that.
So what about adults? Well, the laws on adult pornography are blurry, too. In the United States, there are federal laws which prohibit the distribution of pornography across domestic and international lines, but those laws don’t necessarily apply to internet distribution. The laws which might closest govern pornography creation, distribution and viewing (in the U.S.) whether in physical or digital production, are the laws covering obscenity.
“Obscene” material must meet 3 criteria:
- The average person considers the situation as a whole to appeal to “prurient interests”, after applying contemporary adult community standards
- An average person finds that the matter either depicts or describes sexual conduct in a clearly offensive way, after applying contemporary adult community standards
- If a reasonable person finds that the whole matter lacks serious artistic, scientific, literary and/or political value
Most of us would agree that there are several conflicts here that can lead to “us versus them” thinking. We need to be united on how to define pornography and how to protect the innocent— which, by the way, is everyone who doesn’t willingly become a pornography “entertainment” star.
How do We Move Forward?
This is a particularly difficult question when law relies on what the “average person” under “contemporary adult community standards” thinks.
Well, my good people, we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continue to let our lights shine. As part of the community, you define what the “average person” is and what the “adult community standard” is. You can tip the scales either way. So which way will you help them lean?
We believe in Jesus Christ; we believe that His purpose is to help us change into better people; people that serve, protect and nurture one another.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we protect the sacred nature of sexual intimacy and what it means; we stand up and speak up for values like integrity, humility, respect, and equality. We see each other as brothers and sisters and thus strive to love each other the way our Heavenly Father loves us. It follows suit that as His disciples, we strive to make changes to our communities and world that will build His kingdom.
Become an Anti-Porn Warrior
We echo Elder David A. Bednar in saying,
“Beginning at this place on this day, [we] exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth, messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy, and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.”
How to move forward and sweep the earth:
- Share messages about how Jesus Christ has changed your life; your thoughts on the sanctity of marriage and sexual intimacy; and what the Plan of Salvation means to you.
- Be a contributing citizen in your local government. Know what is going on and participate.
- Share the gospel of Jesus Christ by being an example of Him in all that you do and say.
- Teach your children about Healthy Sexual Intimacy and Why Porn is Bad.
- Join and follow anti-pornography and sex trafficking groups like Fight the New Drug, National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Operation Underground Railroad
- Lastly, be your child’s greatest example of heeding Spiritual promptings and following the prophet’s guidance.
As we stand united with God and firmly declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can tip the scales and be a powerful force for good.