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Combatting sextortion together


February 28th, 2024

Staying safe on Feeld is a joint effort. Here’s everything we’re doing to protect you from sextortion, as well as precautions you can take to protect yourself.

Our goal at Feeld is to create an environment where everyone can make connections safely. Our intention is to create safer and more inclusive spaces for our community. In order to keep us all safe, we want to share resources with our community that can help keep you safer from sextortion or sexual blackmail. 

What is sextortion, or sexual blackmail?

Sextortion is when someone’s personal and explicit photos or videos are used as a form of blackmail, with bad actors demanding money or other favors in return. It's a serious abuse of trust and privacy, combining threats and manipulation to exploit individuals. This form of digital coercion is a stark violation of the values we hold dear at Feeld. Our safety & community guidelines do not allow any kind of non-consensual intimate imagery, and our policy also includes AI-manipulated images as well as locally-sensitive images. 

Empowering our Members

To counteract this, we’re constantly evolving our safety practices at Feeld—including bad actor detection, risk prevention, and automated and manual moderation—to keep our community safer. We also want to provide educational resources to help you navigate these challenges. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Verify your Connections at the beginning. Catfishing is usually the start of most sextortion scams. Members can keep themselves safer by verifying their Connections using a video call or asking for selfies that can’t be found on the internet. This extra step can make a big difference in ensuring you're interacting with genuine people, and that you know who you’re talking to.
  • Be mindful when sharing intimate and identifiable images and anonymize your nudes. Think twice before sharing explicit images or personal information with someone. If sharing feels right, consider anonymizing your images by removing identifiable features (like your face or tattoos). Think about maintaining anonymity in video-chats as well, as bad actors have been known to “screen-record” intimate sessions. If you’re moving to a different platform, we recommend using an encrypted one where you can maintain your anonymity and choose to avoid using your full name. Your privacy is precious, and maintaining it is crucial.
  • Be cautious with sharing your social media accounts. A known pattern of bad actors attempting to sexually blackmail Members is asking for social media accounts, which they use for identifying friends and followers and threatening to send explicit images to them. Waiting to share your social media handles with Connections until you have verified them helps maintain  your privacy. It's crucial to establish a solid basis of trust before sharing more personal aspects of your life.
  • Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. Your instincts are a powerful tool in navigating online interactions safely. If you're ever in doubt, it's better to err on the side of caution.

Bad actors evolve, and sometimes things go wrong. Don’t panic if they do!

Report anything suspicious to the Feeld Safety team. If you encounter suspicious behavior from another Member, you can report them directly in-app. If they Disconnect from you before you have the chance to report them, please reach out to us on [email protected] and mention “Sextortion'' in your report so we can find your customer support ticket more quickly, and protect you and the rest of our community. 

Take control, stop responding, and do not pay: Reach out to a trusted friend or, if you feel comfortable, report the incident to your local law enforcement. When the Feeld team is contacted by law enforcement, we do our best to support them. 

Our commitment to you

Your safety and privacy are our utmost priorities. We are committed to continuing the development of our safeguards and the refinement of our features and policies to meet the needs of our evolving community. Your feedback has been instrumental in this journey, and we're immensely grateful for your ongoing support.

As we navigate these challenges together, we want to remind you that our team is always here for you. For any concerns or reports, please don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. If you have feedback on our Safety policies or practices, please email [email protected].

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