It all began with hidden camera footage of men using the restroom. This footage appeared on a porn site, and was later taken down after an investigation revealed that the models were unwitting. A police detective has been indicted for planting the camera. The trouble is, still frames from the ill-gotten footage live on…on Tumblr.
How does someone find out that there’s secret footage of them using the toilet on the Internet, anyway? In this case, KTVI says that a viewer of the website noticed identifiable company logos. We’re guessing that he traced those logos to St. Louis-area companies, then contacted KTVI about it.
The news station found one victim, also using the legible company logo on a shirt seen on camera. “When I saw myself pooping, I was like, ‘you’ve gotta be kidding me,” he said.
The victim had only lived in the area for three weeks. After the man listed every bathroom he remembered using in the area, the news station visited each one, looking for a match to the bathroom seem on camera.
“Three weeks and I’m already on a poop cam…everybody’s seen me poop? That’s terrible. Hahaha,” he said. Hahaha indeed. It turns out that the footage was taken in a gas station, but the camera was gone by the time a reporter arrived.
The TV station handed their reporting over to local police, and one of their own detectives was arrested. Just this week, he was indicted on felony invasion of privacy charges. The site has come down, but the pictures remain on the blogging platform Tumblr, which has a vibrant porn-sharing community. A “concerned citizen” saw the screen grabs on the site and sent a tip to the news station.
Unfortunately, Tumblr only wants to hear from people who were caught on the poop cam.
If Tumblr removed all copyrighted material, the place would be a ghost town. That’s why a policy requiring the copyright holder or someone featured in content to personally contact the site makes sense.
Yet maybe the threshold to take an item down could be that if someone has been indicted on felony charges for capturing those images, they shouldn’t be on the site.