Last year Spear's held our first Wealth Insight Forum and in our session on privacy we got some tips that someone in Kate Middleton's position – under a threat of embarrassing photographs being published – could use
Last year Spear's held our first Wealth Insight Forum and in our session on privacy we got some tips that someone in Kate Middleton's position – under a threat of embarrassing photographs being published – could use. Oliver Crofton, co-founder of digital reputation management firm Vigilante Bespoke, told us what you can do when your intimate moments are broadcast online (in this case in the context of politician sexting his lover). It's too late for the Duchess of Cambridge – but not for you.
Oliver Crofton: You have a slight issue because it’s gone online. There is a school of thought which says that once it’s on the internet it’s out there for good, which isn’t the case but is tricky to control.
People replicate photos on blog sites, social media and corporate websites across the whole internet platform. So when a photo is put out there, especially if it’s on a gossip topic such as sexting politicians, people are going to replicate the story, re-tweet it, regurgitate it on news sites. For the image in particular, which is what we’re going to try to remove, there are software packages, one called Deny which is a website online which is a reverse lookup on the image, so we find out every website that has that image on it.
The client has two options. If the image has spread very widely and they want to engage in activities to get them taken down they’ve got to consider that any approach to a blog site is not the same as approaching a newspaper – there aren’t necessarily the same laws governing the blogsite, especially if it’s hosted in a different country and actually trying to find the hosting company of that site may be in Russia, or Brazil – it’s very difficult and problematic, so simply approaching that person can be very difficult and also asking them to remove the image can cause an inflammatory reaction and could in fact spread it further. So if the client wants it taken down, obviously engage with a lawyer such as Schillings to put the thumbscrews on them and get it taken down.
Once you know the different sites where the image is on there has to be an element of search engine de-optimisation which is building positive content to outweigh the negative. If someone is searching for your name online, or the name of this politician, and the first image that comes up is one of the sexting images we obviously want to create a lot of other content to push that down the rankings. Once it’s off the first page of Google, you lose 96% of searches that just stop at the first page, so you’re only talking a small percentage that will actually follow the second page, so it’s important to get it off the first page.