A new spotlight is being shed on the “best anonymous image board” aka Anon-IB. The website is a free message board where users from all around the world come together to share photos of women in various states of undress. Earlier in 2017, the website was in the news when it was linked to the scandal involving the uploading of female military service member’s photos. That scandal was also linked to the Facebook group known as Marines United. While in 2014, the website was one of the locations where “The Fapenning” photos, private pictures of Hollywood celebrities, appeared.
Here’s what you need to know about Anon-IB:
1. A Canadian Woman, Who Was a Victim of Anon-IB, Is on a Mission to Warn Others About the Site
A woman named Roxanne has taken it upon herself to message nearly 30 women who have had their images posted to Anon-IB, reports Global News Canada. Those victims are all from the Ontario area. Roxanne, 24, whose last name was not given, told Global News, “Part of me felt like a little bit of a creep doing this. But if I can track them down this easily, somebody with a worse motive can too.”
Roxanne explained that pictures taken of her surfaced on the website in 2013, the photos were taken in 2011. She had taken them for a Facebook friend, one showed her in her underwear. Roxanne, who made a complaint with the police about the website, said the images were removed at the site went down in 2014 and swiftly came back online. Roxanne said in her Global News interview, “My coping mechanism was to go back on the website, find as many girls as I could, tip them off and go to bed.”
One woman who was contacted by Roxanne, Katelyn, 23, told Global News that she had no idea her photos were on the website. They appeared to have been ripped from Katelyn’s Facebook and Plenty of Fish dating profiles. Those photos were removed after Katelyn complained on the website but she didn’t fill out a police report. Katelyn says, “I’m grateful that Roxanne reached out to me. It’s important for women to keep mobilizing and looking out for one another.”
2. Anon-IB Claims to Protect the Identities of the Women in the Photos
The Anon-IB rules claim that no full names should be used but a quick browse on the site shows that many users flaunt these rules. Particularly in the sections that are done by city. One header is titled, “Slut by State.” The rules state that “personal details like addresses, telephone numbers, social networks links, or last names” are not allowed. The disclaimer also bans minor photos, including non-nude pictures. The warning concludes, “Breaking the rules will get your posts deleted and a ban.” Uploaders are also required to be over 18.
Other sections include by country, including the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil. The website does not operate in the United States.
While other tabs on the homepage brings people to live pornographic camera sites and general porn sites. Parlance on the website among users refers to nude images as “wins.” Users are kept anonymous on the site.
3. A Petition Has Been Set Up to Have the Website Shut Down on Child Pornography Grounds
In 2014, a petition was presented to the FBI over Anon-IB. The Change.org campaign sought to have the site shut down “on the grounds of child porn and endangerment of women.” The petition reads:
AnonIB is a Chan website that goes far beyond infringing upon law, and whether this is intentional or not, whether there are rules on their site against it or not, is entirely irrelevant. Anon IB should be taken down on the grounds of Child Pornography and the dangers its category system presents to minors and women in general.
The petition achieved it’s goal of nearly 10,000 signatures.
4. The Website Was Involved in a Scandal Where Chicago Teenagers Were Sharing Explicit Images of Classmates
In May 2017, NBC Chicago reports that “at least 67 high schools in Illinois and the Chicago area” were involved in the spreading of explicit images of teenagers. One victim, named Jennifer, told the station, “I feel angry. I feel violated and disgusted. It never crossed my mind that this could happen.” She found her photo in the section for her high-school alma-mater, St. Charles North High School.
Naperville detective Rich Wistocki who was investigating the scandal told NBC Chicago, “I know for a fact they’re underage. A concerned dad wanted to make sure that (his daughter) was ready for medical school. He googles his daughter’s name, and his daughter’s name pops up in Anon-IB. He clicks on it and sees naked pictures of his daughter when she was (15 years old).”
5. In March 2017, Hundreds of Marines Were Investigated Over the Post of Explicit Images
Anon-IB was at the center of the Marines United Facebook group scandal that was first uncovered by Reveal News. A section on Anon-IB remains dedicated to women who serve in the armed forces.