Inside the ‘Marines United’ Revenge Porn Scandal

How one veteran-journalist cracked case of malicious Facebook group.

July 11, 2017 10:31 am
Meet the Brave Veteran That Cracked the Marine Corp.'s Revenge Porn Scandal
(Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

Despite the relatively harmless-sounding name, “Marines United” proved anything but. The private Facebook group housed thousands of photos—some highly intimate and sexually explicit—of servicewomen in the U.S. Marine Corp.

Actually, the group did have a much tamer origin before the wheels came off: It had been launched as a support system for veterans dealing with issues like suicide. But soon enough, as Esquire reports, it became a secret database of revenge porn (sexually explicit pictures that posted without the consent of the person pictured with a malicious intent).

The page’s existence was first reported on back in March by a 31-year-old Columbia-educated investigative journalist and former Marine, Thomas Brennan, in a bombshell story.

Brennan told Esquire that this wasn’t the first time he’d seen pictures like these ones of servicewomen, but Marines United showed a marked change in the depth of content. “What made this different was the volume of photographs and the details: names, ranks, duty stations,” Brennan told Esquire. “They were weaponizing this stuff.”

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