Samantha Mawdsley found herself banned for her response to serial offender James
Pinging their way unbidden into your inbox, sometimes they’re accompanied by a ‘witty’ caption, though mostly the graphic nature just speaks for itself. Even if the online dating revolution has passed you by, you’ve probably at least heard of one of its biggest downsides – the unsolicited nude picture.
While, from a distance, some might view it as just a bit of harmless fun, the important thing to remember is they have not been sought out, chased, or asked for.
But it’s not just app dating or even Snapchat which has fuelled this dubious phenomenon . One woman was randomly approached via Facebook – and in response to a restaurant review.
Messaged by a man named James, media analysis executive Samantha Mawdsley decided to take matters into her own hands in a brilliant sequence of photos and messages.
But she quickly found herself BANNED for reacting to the stranger’s unwanted and anatomical photo.
“He knew what he was doing”
Speaking to MirrorOnline, Samantha, 30, talks about calling out unsolicited nude pic perpetrators and how, in spite of Facebook deactivating her account, she has no regrets.
“It was absolutely random. He somehow found a review I wrote about a cafe in Manchester months ago and he commented on it asking me to check my DMs.
“He knew what he was doing, because I wouldn’t have checked my filtered messages otherwise. He made sure I saw it.”
What Samantha saw was an image of James’ penis accompanied with the caption “You have pretty eyes”.
It might have ended there, but as Samantha explains: “There’s this attitude that it kind of comes with the territory, but this was so unexpected.
“I was really confused – what was I supposed to say or do? What was his goal here? I was just disgusted and felt disrespected.”
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Before being in a happy relationship of three years, Samantha had experienced photos of this nature before, and has had other women respond to her post to say they’ve been victims of the same man too.
However, as she describes, this time was a little more unsettling. “I’ve never received one quite so unsolicited!”
Pointing at the flasher
Although Samantha’s initial reaction was to ignore it, she realised that was the response he expected.
“It’s what most women do – we just stay silent which lets the man get away with it. But if this was real life, you would scream and point out the flasher! Everyone would turn and stare at him.
“What gives him the right to behave in a way (I hope) he wouldn’t offline?”
Also partly fuelling this was how his message made her feel.
“I was disgusted and humiliated. I didn’t take it personally – I am just a random woman to him. But I did it take it on behalf of women everywhere. Enough is enough!”
So Samantha sent him a volley of penis pictures back, to which James kept replying (you can see the exact exchange here ).
While Samantha was surprised he kept responding, his “sweary and misogynistic” language came less as a surprise.
“He just became a stereotype of the kind of men who do this! I tried to make him stop looking by sending him penis after penis but he kept coming back!”
At the time of sending her retaliatory penis pictures, Samantha does admit “laughing in bed at his response initially.”
Read more: Man sends mean text to mates about woman he’s met – messages her by accident
But when he asked her to not share the details of their conversation, she changed her mind.
“I thought I might because again, he assumed the control and that I would stay silent. I also thought I would change my mind if he apologised, but he didn’t.”
However, with no apology forthcoming, she admits: “The more I’ve read it back, the more the humour has worn off for me, and it’s just depressing.”
Facebook deleted some of the pictures for showing nudity, so she re-uploaded them with bigger stickers covering the important bits. They then deleted them again.
“You have no right to do this”
Facebook has since deactivated her account for falling foul of their community standards. But Samantha has no regrets – especially as James is a repeat offender.
But she would only encourage others to take a leaf out of her book if they felt safe doing so.
As for the men out there whose own behaviour mirrors that of James?
“Please don’t stop doing it because you’re afraid that you’ll be the next James O’Leary. Please stop doing it because it’s wrong.
“It’s sexual harassment and you have no right to make anybody feel uncomfortable and humiliated like this.
“I really hope my nieces and goddaughter first learn about d*** pics when they Google me and they see this story.
“I want them to laugh and say: ‘Oh wow – people used to send pics of their penises to strangers on the internet? That’s so weird and disgusting!'”
We have reached out to Facebook for comment.