Jess Davies has a successful career as a model and Instagram influencer. She uses her platform of around 150,000 followers to share messages of body positivity and female empowerment. Her social media network is a positive community where she is in control. But elsewhere on the internet, it’s a very different story.
For nearly 10 years, Jess has been battling an army of fake social media profiles that steal her identity and use it to impersonate other women online. Her pictures have been leaked, sold and misused in ways she never consented to. She feels helpless and has been scared to tackle the problem, until now.
When she was a teenager, Jess decided to be a glamour model. She doesn’t do topless shoots anymore but these photos are still being used all over the internet, on porn sites and by agencies falsely advertising her as an escort girl, without her consent. She has no control over how they are used or where. It feels like there’s nothing she can do about it.
In this documentary for BBC Three, Jess meets other people whose images have been misused. She speaks to cyber experts, a former scammer and those working to challenge this global issue.
Jess investigates the practice of eWhoring, a type of cybercrime whereby people - mostly women - are impersonated online, and their nude photos are sold. Jess discovers she has been a victim of eWhoring, and her images have been put in a ‘pack’ which is traded for as little as a $15 Amazon gift card.
Jess asks, when your intimate images are shared and misused, what are the long term effects on your sense of self and your romantic relationships? Why is it often women who carry a deep-seated sense of shame after something like this happens, when the person who leaked the photos has done wrong? And what more can be done to tackle Image Based Sexual Abuse?