Marines United 3.0, a new Facebook group that took its name from the original group banned in January, continues to share nude photos of fellow servicewomen on the social media site despite stern warnings from the Marine Corps and Congress.
One of the Facebook group’s newest victims is a female Marine reservist who identified herself as Kim to protect her privacy. In 2014, nude photos she took for her civilian boyfriend were stolen and uploaded on a now-defunct site. Before long, she was informed that the same photos were uploaded on Twitter.
“This is not what normal people do to each other,” Kim said. Members of Marines United 3.0 “must have some need for vengeance toward somebody. I mean, why is this fun? What makes this so fun? If you want to see naked people, go to porn sites. I don’t understand the logic behind it. It’s to the point now that I’m just numb.”
“It seems like they disappear and they come back every six months,” she added. “I would get random text messages at work and they’d send me my own pictures, and I would break down… I don’t know what I can do. They’re out there, these same three-to-five pictures. I hate it.”
The Marines United 3.0 group has recently adopted additional measures to prevent infiltration, which include the vetting of members and demanding those who want to join the group to post a nude photo, according to Task and Purpose.
Marines United 3.0 stands defiant and uncompromising despite NCIS’s ongoing investigation of the Facebook group, as former and current servicemen continue to post private photos of female veterans, and female civilians without their consent.
James LaPorta, a journalist and Marine veteran who writes for the Daily Beast, reports that NCIS has identified 17 offshoots of the original Marines United Facebook page that continue to distribute explicit material. However, shutting down these groups has been a futile exercise as new offshoots come out of the woodwork every time one group is shut down.
Members who run Marines United are also emboldened by the fact that there’s no written law that can implicate them criminally, as pointed out by Former Marine Lance Cpl. Cody Fielder, an administrator of the Marines United 3.0 group.
“I don’t see a legal issue with it,” Fielder told LaPorta. “I do think there’s a moral issue with it, but there’s a lot of difference between the law and your own moral code… If the law wants to get involved, show me the passage that says this is illegal.”
“Keep it organized and post only the nastiest shit,” Fielder posted to Marines United 3.0 on Thursday. “Nothing illegal (underage), is all I ask.”
LaPorta’s Daily Beast report was published a week after military leaders issued “social media guidelines” to commanders, reminding them about the ingrained sexism and misogyny in the Corps and the dangers that come with it.
“Marines must never engage in commentary or publish content on social networking platforms or through other forms of communication that harm good order and discipline or that bring discredit upon themselves, their unit, or the Marine Corps,” according to the updated guidelines issued by Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller.
Rep. Jackie Speier of California said that the new guidelines will prove futile in addressing the problem.
“No one has ever gone on Facebook, looked at non-consensually posted intimate photos, typed a rape threat and then stopped and said, ‘Oh, I better not make rape threats. That’s against the military social media policy,'” she said.
“We don’t need to talk about social media policies,” she added. “We need to talk about how to end this hatred and misogyny.”
All major military investigative services have joined in on the investigation and are working closely in a room at Headquarters Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. Marines United 3.0 remains at large which could mean that the nude photo scandal may claim new victims.
[Featured Image by Stephen Morton/Getty Images]