SECURITY PROBLEMS

Porn Stars’ Instagram Accounts Targeted By Hackers: ‘I Was Locked Out’

Adult actresses are having their Instagram accounts hacked left and right, and the social media giant is doing little to help them.

Aluxum

Social media dependency has grown exponentially over the last decade. The majority of online adults have at least one social media account, if not more. In this virtual world we’re making friends, buying products, even interacting with our favorite brands and companies in a way that feels very personable. As consumers we want to feel as if we’re making a choice, buying what we have ties to, which makes social media imperative for many entrepreneurs—including porn stars.

A large part of an adult performer’s job consists of managing social media, both to boost future bookings and to create a connection with fans. Whether piracy or tube sites are to blame, one thing’s clear: there’s not much money for performers following a traditional porn star path. To be successful, one must build a loyal following—engaging fans via social media to sell products, cam shows, site subscriptions, and strip club tour dates. Some of the women noted a greater conversion rate on Instagram when compared to other platforms, making it a favored marketing tool despite the social media platform’s conservative stance on posting nudity. According to online statistics, Instagram drives the “most engagement per post compared to any social network—84 times more than Twitter, 54 times more than Pinterest and 10 times more than Facebook.”

For many sex workers, Instagram has become a crucial component to generating income. When an account is deleted or locked it’s not just an inconvenience, it’s financially impactful. Alana Luv, the AVN 2017 Nominee for Hottest MILF, had been hacked and lost access to her Instagram account not once, but twice. Luv says the person who snatched her account made changes to her name and settings, among other things. The second time was worse.

“I couldn’t get into my account for a month. I was locked out and this is my business. This is how I interact with my fans, share what’s happening, and post pictures. Social media is everything right now,” says Luv. “I tried contacting Instagram and they were not responsive at all.” Luv says she asked a friend of hers, who is also a lawyer, to assist in the correspondence and it was only after that Instagram responded. “Thankfully my friend got involved, if I didn’t get my friend involved, how much longer would I have had to wait for them?” asks Luv.

I get a text on my phone from a random hidden number saying I’d have my account back if I do something for him, like make a video saying he hacked me and how ‘awesome’ he was.

Adult actress Raven Hart faced similar issues when a hacker took control of her Instagram account. Hart says after multiple attempts to contact Instagram with no response or support from the social media giant she gave up and started a new account, building up her followers all over again. Since her faith in the platform has been shaken, Hart now takes additional precautions in how she accesses and posts on the account. “I really cannot trust their site anymore. I’d heard things about them and now I’ve seen it,” says Hart. “I’m so careful too. I make sure everything I post is safe for Instagram. I don’t even place stickers over my pussy or things like that the way other girls do.”

The hacker that took over adult actress Carmen Valentina’s Instagram account had also accessed her phone number. “I get a text on my phone from a random hidden number saying I’d have my account back if I do something for him, like make a video saying he hacked me and how ‘awesome’ he was,” recalls Valentina. “So, I pretty much told him to F-off. He did not like that. He deleted every pic off my Instagram and released my phone number online.”

Valentina went through the process of cleaning out her computer and resetting her social media life post-hack. Proving she’d been hacked, Valentina sent screenshots of the incident to Instagram but found little support from the company. “I messaged Instagram but never heard back. The only thing I got was a confirmation email with the reference number for the complaint I filed,” says Valentina. “My old account had about 180,000 followers, so it really sucked to start all over, but I’d rather start over then give in to some ass who wants to make my life miserable.”

It’s a year later and Valentina’s new account, Carmensbooty—the one she started immediately after the hack—is now up to almost 100,000 followers. That’s a little over half of what she once had, but she’s still 80,000 shy. While it’s hard to quantify how much revenue was lost, when an account fails to be reinstated and returned to its rightful owner, the brand suffers. Many followers may not bother coming back once they leave.

An Instagram representative responded to The Daily Beast’s inquiry with the following statement: “We’re currently investigating what took place with these accounts and I’ll circle back when I have more to share.”

Though she hasn’t been hacked, adult performer Ginger Banks has also had her social media accounts deleted and/or deactivated due to alleged content violations. As a successful web cam model, Banks has spent years learning how to best market herself online to fans, yet each time she’s forced to rebuild her account the task becomes more laborious. “I’m on my fifth Instagram account right now,” says Banks. “It kind of sucks because I feel like as sex workers we have to follow a different set of rules on social media. If you’re Kim Kardashian, or a regular mainstream model, you can show your bare ass on Instagram but if you’re a sex worker you can’t get away with that.”