Naked Photo Sharing On Marine Group Ongoing For Months

One anonymous member of the group tried getting them shut down in September to no avail

U.S. Marines participate in a military exercise in Thailand. — REUTERS
Mar 06, 2017 at 5:43 AM ET

A Facebook group made up of tens of thousands of Marines, Navy Corpsmen and British Royal Marines has been sharing illicit photos of women for at least several months prior to the Department of Defense investigation into the group’s activities.

Marine veteran Thomas Brennan first reported the group’s activities, which included the sharing of illicit photos of active-duty female Marines, to the Marine Corps in late January, then reported on the investigation on his military news website The War Horse. The group, Marines United, is a private group made up of tens of thousands of members, and hosted hundreds of images of naked service members and veterans.

While the group was initially reported to authorities in late January, one member of Marines United brought the group’s photo-sharing problem to light on Reddit back in September 2016. The temporary account, MarinesUnitedthraway, claimed to have reported the group to Facebook, as “the vast majority of the posted items were pictures of girls posts without permission, revenge porn, creepy stalker-like photos taken of girls in public, talk about rape, racist comments and just straight bullshit.” Vocativ has reached out to the user and is awaiting a response.

Several of the responses to the post, published on the USMC subreddit, defended the activity on Marines United. One user told the OP to “get thicker skin.” Another suggested the user to simply turn a blind eye: “You obviously don’t agree with what’s being shared on the page so just ignore it.” Another bragged about the group’s activities, saying “We exist in numerous forms of social media. We’re not stupid, we know exactly what it is we’re doing…Everyone of us in MU earned our title of Marine like our brothers before us.” One claimed to be an administrator of the group and argued: “You obviously don’t see all the good that comes from MU as well. Even as an admin on the page, that you didn’t get shut down, there is shit I don’t agree with. The difference is, I’m a fucking man and just keep rolling on.”

Hundreds of Marines are now under investigation for their part in sharing nude photos of their colleagues.