When journalist Thomas Brennan first revealed the existence of a 30,000-member Facebook group called “Marines United” that shared nude photographs of female service members without their consent, the Marine Corps launched an immediate investigation.
Now reports indicate that not only is the Marine Corps not the only military branch involved in the scandal, nude photos continued to be circulated on other sites.
CNN reported Thursday morning that despite a Naval Criminal Investigative Service inquiry into Marines United, certain members of that group had continued to post photographs of naked female colleagues in a new private Facebook group, Marines United 2.
Citing a veteran Marine and journalist, James LaPorta, who briefly joined the group and took screenshots of posts, members of the group remained defiant and even suggested “it would be hilarious” if investigators found photos of “their wife on here.” LaPorta was later expelled from the group and attacked as a “blue falcon,” a service member who betrays the armed forces.
Those comments are similar to ones made by members after Brennan, a retired Marine with a Purple Heart, reported on the group. At that time, Brennan told the Marine Corps Times that there was a “bounty” on nude photographs of his daughter.
Brennan’s report indicated that photos only began to be shared after women were first assigned to Marine infantry units on Jan. 5. Business Insider, however, reported Thursday evening that Marines United is actually just one of several groups and message boards where photographs of naked female service members from all branches of the military have been posted since at least May.
Business Insider confirmed CNN’s report that other Facebook groups have popped up to replace Marines United. But the site reported that most members of the group have since flocked to AnonIB, a messaging website with a board for military personnel where members of every military branch have posted hundreds of nude photographs, along with explicit and obscene comments. Per Business Insider, users referred to the photographs as “wins.”
The Military Times confirmed Business Insider’s report Thursday night, saying Defense officials are investigating the message board, which often included women’s full name, rank and duty station.
Task & Purpose, a news site dedicated to military veterans, also reports that members of Marines United have created DropBox folders filled with thousands of photographs and have uploaded explicit videos to public pornography such as PornHub in an attempt to save any photos lost when Marines United was shut down.
“We fully expect that the discovery of Marines United will motivate Marines to come forward to notify their chain of command of pages like it,” Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Ryan Alvis told the Military Times. “Things may seem to get worse before they get better; Marines will attack this problem head-on and continue to get better.”