Leakserv is an online removal service dedicated to eliminating revenge porn

Breakups are hard enough without worrying that the nude images you once shared with your partner could be leaked. Revenge porn, or uploading a sexually explicit image or video of a former partner onto the internet, is the ultimate way to embarrass or insult your ex. While it happens to celebrities all the time – we all know how Kim Kardashian became famous – for the average person, the consequences could be devastating. As such, revenge porn has become a serious issue that social media sites are trying to tackle and laws are trying to stop.

The laws surrounding revenge porn differ from state to state and country to country. In Australia, revenge porn is taken very seriously, so much so that the perpetrator could face up to two years imprisonment for the leaking of non-consensual and explicit images. However, while social media sites like Facebook and Twitter condemn the use of nude imagery, once an image is leaked it can bounce from site to site and bury itself deep into the web.

Launched in August this year, Leakserv is a new service from the Netherlands that dedicates itself to helping victims of revenge porn eliminate all images and video content online. Leakserv was founded by Bart van Leeuwen and Nick Steenland, who have made it their worldwide mission to reduce the trauma for victims of revenge porn.

“Women are often blackmailed when this happens, feel embarrassed, are publicly humiliated, and can’t find a job as a result of their tarnished image. By using our services this can all be prevented and we will remove all sexually explicit content quickly,” said Leeuwen.

Leakserv urges victims of revenge porn to sign up for their services, where all leaked content is indexed and added to their search engines. They use advanced tracking and monitoring services to identify the content and its host. Once identified, Leakserv issues a take-down notice, forcing the uploader to remove all damaging content. The team also block and deny search engine access, which helps to cease all online movement and stop the images dead in their tracks. 

Leakserv offers two pricing options – a $69/month subscription for on-going monitoring for 10 content items, which covers every day content removals, unlimited takedowns, full support, content removal from social media, and search engine takedowns. The same services are offered for the monitoring of 50 content items for $199/month.

The idea for the business came from Bart van Leeuwen, who is also the CEO of online protection solutions provider Onsist. Through Onsist, Leeuwen saw an increase of applications from victims of revenge porn requesting a solution to their leaked images.

“Getting to know these victims and learn the problems they have faced because of revenge porn was enough to start up a business that would provide the services to help them,” said Leeuwen.

According to an Australian national survey of digital harassment and abuse, one in 10 adults have had a sexually explicit image of them sent to others without their permission. Researches from RMIT and La Trobe University found that perpetrators of domestic violence are increasingly using technology to harass, stalk, and threaten their victims, with men and women affected in equal numbers. The research shows that there needs to be better legal protection put in place for victims of online abuse.

Leakserv condemn those who upload violating images and hope that the law will soon reflect their beliefs and concerns for victims of this online abuse. Together the team help to alleviate this issue by providing access to anyone who is in distress. Leakserv believe that time is the most important thing when it comes to minimising damage.

“Every minute that such content is up on the internet helps it spread across various networks, be downloaded and shared multiple times,” said Leeuwen.

The biggest challenge Leakserv have faced is making victims of revenge porn aware of their services and the issues they solve. Currently the company is engaged in marketing campaigns with Google, Facebook and Twitter. Their future goal is to become internationally known as the number one solution for revenge porn victims.

“We’ve helped over 100 victims of revenge porn already and our goal is to break even halfway next year,” said Leeuwen.

Image: Leakserv Team, Source: Supplied