12, Feb, 2024

From Relationships to Reels: The Unsettling Use of Past Images

Share via

Incident Details:

In a recent case brought to our attention, we encountered a distressing scenario involving a young woman, Ria (not her real name), who found herself surprisingly caught in a digital nightmare. Three years after ending a relationship, Ria discovered that her ex-partner had been using her photo in reel content online. Despite her face being obscured with an emoji, their mutual college friends and acquaintances recognized her, linking her to false and demeaning narratives.

Ria’s Experience:

Picture this: Ria, minding her own business, scrolling through her phone, when suddenly, she stumbled upon something that shook her to the core. Her ex-partner had used her picture in some online videos! Even though her face was hidden behind a little emoji, yet she was recognized by her friends and acquaintances, making Ria feel exposed and embarrassed in her everyday life.

Impact and Awareness:

Ria’s story serves as a reminder of the risks inherent in our digital interactions. It shows the importance of vigilance and awareness in safeguarding personal identity online. 

Despite Ria’s efforts to report social media content, even with support from her friends, her obscured face left her story lingering in a grey area for the platform to find it offensive, and the result review took a while. By sharing her experience, we aim to raise awareness about the potential pitfalls of digital exploitation and the steps individuals can take to protect themselves in an increasingly interconnected world.

Legal Considerations:

In cases of online defamation and image misuse, individuals like Ria have legal recourse to protect their rights, by providing proper evidence. Cease and desist letters can be issued to demand the immediate removal of infringing content, while pursuing legal action may be necessary in severe cases of defamation or privacy violation.

Steps & Precautions to be taken:

Preventing incidents like Ria’s requires a combination of digital literacy and proactive measures. Listed below are some precautions that you can take:

  • Be attentive about your privacy social media privacy settings to control who can access your personal information and content.
  • If you find any exploitation of your personal information or content, one should immediately report it to the platform hosting the content, to reduce further damage.
  • In cases of severe privacy violations or defamation, register your complaint on the government cybercrime portal and seek legal advice to understand your rights and explore legal options for recourse.


In conclusion, it’s essential to remain vigilant against threats to personal identity and privacy. Ria’s journey serves as a cautionary tale, urging us to take safety measures to safeguard ourselves from digital threats.

Share via