US: Nude photos scandal widens

BBC:-US servicemen from all parts of the military have been sharing nude photos of their female colleagues online, it has emerged.

Reports last week uncovered widespread photo sharing by current and former Marines on Facebook, triggering a navy investigation.

But the BBC has seen a message board where servicemen from other branches have shared hundreds of photos.

The Pentagon said such behaviour was “inconsistent” with its values.

Male service members use a message board on an anonymous image hosting website to share nude images of their female counterparts.

They often first post clothed photos of female personnel taken from their social media pages, and ask if any members have nude photos, which they call “wins”. Others then post photos.

Those posting sometimes provide names and other details of women, including where they are stationed. Lewd comments accompany many posts.

The behaviour previously reported was confined to Marines on Facebook.

A Facebook group called Marines United with 30,000 members was recently closed down after the scandal erupted.

The Marines’ top commander described the revelations as an “embarrassment”.

“When I hear allegations of Marines denigrating their fellow Marines, I don’t think such behaviour is that of true warriors or war fighters,” Gen Robert Neller said earlier this week.

But the message board on the image-hosting website remains publicly accessible, and indicates that such practices extend throughout the military.

“Just heard [name redacted] and her bf [name redacted] broke up,” a comment on 19 December from an anonymous user on a post that appears to involve personnel at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska reads.

“Maybe he would post some.”

Another post from a different anonymous user on 12 September reads: “Any wright patt wins? I’ll start off with some”. The post refers to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

The user then posts self-taken images of a woman in a bikini, and then topless. There are many more explicit images on the message board.

The US Department of Defense said in a statement that it had issued “policy guidance” to prevent and deal with “sexual harassment and hazing”.

It is developing a new “comprehensive workplace harassment prevention and response policy”, spokesperson Myles Caggins told the BBC.

“The alleged behaviour is inconsistent with our values.”

Although the Marines United Facebook group has now closed, there are at least half a dozen similar groups or sites, Marine officials told CBS News.

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