The Marine Corps made major news today due to recent allegations that there have been a number of marines that shared naked images of female colleagues through social media. These service members included men that were currently serving and some that had previously served.
This report started when Reveal published an article this last Saturday that revealed some of the details behind the allegations. The author of the article, who was both a Marine and a recipient of the honorable Purple Heart award, has now received a constant stream of death threats as a result of the article. At this time it is uncertain as to the number of people that are involved with the situation and exactly how many images have been circulated online.
The report had focused on a Facebook group by the name of Marines United that currently has over 30,000 followers. The group had shared a link that provided all members with access to a drive that contained a large number of photos of female marines in various stages of undress. Beyond that, the content was far more compromising and damaging because it also included names and unit information of the women that the photos had been taken of.
The shared drive is no longer available and has been taken off of the Internet. The Naval Criminal Investigation Service has started looking into the report, and is starting with the Facebook group itself. It is likely that they will be looking towards admins and moderators of the group who were likely involved.
Many female marines have felt sexually harassed after joining the service. This includes Lance Cpl. Marisa Woytek, who had photos from her instagram pulled off and shared within the group without her consent. She has now stated that she would never rejoin the marines because this has ruined the whole experience for her. Woytek was alerted to the photos through social media, which also had a large number of harassing comments attached with it. Some of the comments included fantasies of sexually assaulting or raping her, which put her in danger as an active duty marine.