IsAnybodyDown?

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IsAnybodyDown?
IsAnybodyDown.png
Owner Craig Brittain
Website [1]
Alexa rank 160,744 (June 2013)[2]
Commercial no
Launched December 1, 2011 (2011-12-01)
Current status Defunct
closed April 4, 2013 (2013-04-04)

Is Anybody Down? was a controversial revenge porn website founded by Craig Brittain and Chance Trahan where users could anonymously upload nude photographs along with information identifying the person in the photograph (including full names, addresses, phone numbers, and Facebook screenshots).[3][4] The site also contained a section of nude photographs titled "Anonymous Bounty", where users were offered "free stuff" if they could provide the Facebook or Twitter information of any of the people pictured. In concept, the website recapitulated the now-defunct Is Anyone Up?, which was shut down in April 2012, shortly before an FBI investigation into the propriety of the site.[5]

Investigation[edit]

The activities of the website and the operators were investigated by the United States Federal Trade Commission, who stated that when people contacted the website, the site did not respond to their requests to remove the information. The FTC stated in their administrative complaint that the site advertised content removal services under the name “Takedown Hammer” and “Takedown Lawyer” that could delete consumers’ images and content from the site in exchange for a payment of $200 to $500. The complaint says the sites for these services were owned and operated by Craig Brittain.[6][7][8] Marc Randazza, a prominent First Amendment lawyer, compiled evidence that the two sites are part of the same operation.[7][9][3] He offered to take the case of anyone whose images were displayed on Is Anybody Down without permission.[7]

Under a settlement announced in January 2015 by the Federal Trade Commission, Brittain agreed to delete all of the site's content and to not open a new or similar website.[10] The FTC said that Brittain had posted explicit photos and information of over 1,000 people.[11][12] After various news agencies reported on the FTC settlement, Brittain complained that photos of him were being used without his permission and sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take down to Google objecting to 23 articles remaining in their search rankings. He said that the links were examples of “unauthorised use of photos of me and other related information”.[13]

Shutdown of website[edit]

On April 4, 2013, Brittain announced via Twitter that "As of today Is Anybody Down is over."[14] Although Brittain's tweets were interpreted to mean that the site would be shut down entirely, Brittain transferred the content of the site to a new domain, ObamaNudes.com.[15][16] This lasted from April 5 to at least April 15. By June 11, 2013, ObamaNudes redirected to another service called DIYspies, hosted on a Facebook page.[17]

Follow-up venture[edit]

In 2015, Brittain and Trahan sought funding for Dryvyng, a transportation network company that would compete with Uber and Lyft. Their plans gained attention when their ownership and prior involvement in IsAnybodyDown? was made public.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Is Anybody Down?". Craig R. Brittain. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Statistics Summary for isanybodydown.com". Alexa. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Garfield, Bob (November 16, 2012). "Interview with Marc Randazza and Craig Brittain". On the Media. Retrieved November 19, 2012. , transcript here
  4. ^ Hoffberger, Chase (November 13, 2012). ""Involuntary porn" site charges victims to remove nude photos". Daily Dot. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ Benton, Brian (April 30, 2012). "Who's To Blame For IsAnyoneUp?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ "FTC press release:Website Operator Banned from the 'Revenge Porn' Business After FTC Charges He Unfairly Posted Nude Photos". Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Lee, Timothy B. (November 13, 2012). "'Involuntary porn' site tests the boundaries of legal extortion". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ Steinbaugh, Adam (October 31, 2012). "Craig's List: IsAnybodyDown.com and The Takedown, Hammered". Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ Masnick, Mike (October 31, 2012). "Marc Randazza Goes To War Against Revenge Porn Site Over Alleged 'Takedown Lawyer' Business Model". Techdirt. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Website Operator Banned from the 'Revenge Porn' Business After FTC Charges He Unfairly Posted Nude Photos". Federal Trade Commission. 
  11. ^ "Mess ipsa loquitor? Letting the facts speak for themselves". Federal Trade Commission. 
  12. ^ "Craig Brittain: Confessions Of An 'Accidental' Revenge Porn Pusher". Forbes. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Owner of revenge porn site asks Google to remove links to his own photos". The Telegraph. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Hoffberger, Chase (April 4, 2013). "Revenge porn site IsAnybodyDown shutting down tonight". The Daily Dot. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ Roy, Jessica (April 5, 2013). "Even As He Promises to Close 'Is Anybody Down,' Craig Brittain Covertly Plans a New Revenge Porn Site". Betabeat.com. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ Hoffberger, Chase (April 5, 2013). "Revenge porn site creator buys ObamaNudes.com". Daily Dot. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ Archives of ObamaNudes
  18. ^ Kristen V. Brown (December 3, 2015). "When the whole world knows you as the king of revenge porn, what do you do next?". Splinter News.