Dear Auntie: Yesterday, my Snapchat was hacked and locked. I received texts from a couple of people saying that my account has posted videos and pictures of me asking for cashapp and Venmo payments in exchange for nudes I have saved. I’ve been dancing in the strip club for over the past year, and pictures I’ve taken were posted. This is especially devastating because my dance life was supposed to stay private. Family, friends and strangers have seen the posts. I’m embarrassed. Humiliated af. I’ve been building a beauty business on the low, waiting to start putting my work out to the world on social media, and now I feel so set back. I don’t even know where to start with handling this. I have emailed Snapchat Support so I’m waiting on a response. Is there any legal advice you could give me?
Dear N.B: I’m sorry this happened to you. What did we learn? NOTHING is ever secret or private, especially on the internet. Legally, unless you find the source, I think there is nothing you can do. If you do find the source, you can civil sue, but what did you lose? If you are a dancer, you have to stand on that. If your family or friends don’t pay your bills, don’t be embarrassed. If you can dance in a club, the internet isn’t much different.
When we assess damages or the cost of our actions, we sometimes call them consequences. I would put out an email or make a statement via social media apologizing for the imposter asking for money and sending photos. I would NOT apologize for being grown nor being a dancer. In the age of media, nothing is sacred, darlin’. If you have to be embarrassed about doing something, stop doing it. No, it wasn’t anybody’s business, but these are risks we take when we send a nude or even take a picture. Personally, my face or defining features are never in a photo I send. I don’t trust these cats. If somebody ever leaked a nude of me, I would be proud. I feel fabulous and wouldn’t have sent the pic had I not looked fabulous.
As for your beauty business, this shouldn’t be an issue. If your products or services are supreme, nobody cares that you were a dancer. There are quite a few dancers and actual prostitutes that went on to be business owners. Nobody should care about that. Unless you were promoting religion or living in hypocrisy you did nothing wrong.
I do want you younger people to understand the dangers of social media. Social media has put people in jail, started careers, discovered new talent and made people money. If I didn’t have businesses, I wouldn’t even be on social media. If what you sent on social media didn’t make you money, stop sending them.
Going forward, keep in mind that anything you post or send can be Snapshotted or your account can be hacked. Change your passwords often. Post and only send things via private messenger that you wouldn’t mind getting out. If someone posts something I said or did in private, I stand on it. Keep in mind a very wealthy celebrity auctioned off her sex tape and turned it into a money moment. Learn from this, and continue getting to the money.
Had someone personally posted this, it would fall under certain “revenge porn” or “cyber stalking” laws. This is not the case. Keep private things private. Don’t trust the internet. Continue running your business and handling your business. Never hang your head low for something you did with intention. Dancing helped fund your business. There is no shame in that.