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To keep it short, I’m an online personality and LLC. I keep my online life separate from my personal life for obvious reasons. However, I received an alarming message on my non-work account on instagram from someone stating that they know me in real life and is going to expose me. I know they’re not lying because they gave details on who they know I’m friends with. I ignored the message and have yet to respond so I don’t know what they want from me. Obviously, I’m assuming they’re trying to blackmail me because after I ignored the message they said “I guess you want to be exposed?”.

I don’t tell anyone what I do online and I don’t tell anyone online about my personal life. They’ve been tagging my work account under photos of my friends accounts exposing what I do online. Is there any legal issues at what this person is doing?

  • Why do you use the term "expose"? Are you showing anything illegal or unethical in your posts? I'm not asking why you have separate accounts, but what are the dangers to you if both are linked by this person? Why do you think what is posted is not public, even if it's under some sort of "anonymous" account? – BlueDogRanch Nov 28 '19 at 21:09
  • It’s nothing illegal. Im a cam model and they’re basically trying to blackmail me into something or they’ll tell my personal relationships about my occupation. I used the term “expose” because that’s also the term they used when they messaged me. This just violates my privacy and also had the potential of doxxing since they know me in real life. – Summer299 Nov 28 '19 at 21:37
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    Your post does not provide enough information to answer on, but it is possible that in addition to extortion you may also have some recourse under stalking laws. – davidgo Nov 28 '19 at 22:14
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Exposure

If I discover that Bruce Wayne is Batman, I am free to disclose this information to whoever I like with no legal ramifications. Secret identities are only secret while you keep them secret.

There are specific exemptions to this general rule regarding undercover police or official spies - doing that is illegal.

In addition, if I learn Batman’s secret under conditions of confidence (e.g. I’m Bruce’s lawyer or we have an NDA) then if I disclose it and Bruce suffers damage I can be sued, however, I haven’t committed a crime.

Extortion

If I discover that Bruce is Batman and I threaten to release this information unless he does something for me, that’s extortion and is a crime in most jurisdictions. It sounds like you interlocutor is heading in that direction.

Unfortunately, blackmail is a very effective crime and you really have 3 options:

  1. Do what the blackmailer wants. If you are desperate to keep your secret this is your only real option. Just be aware that the demands of blackmailer’s have a tendency to grow over time.
  2. Report them to the police. Who want be hugely interested because it’s not a violent or property crime and it’s relatively hard to prove. Of course, your secret will be revealed.
  3. Publish and be damned as the Duke of Wellington reportedly said to his would be blackmailer. Or, better yet, reveal your secret yourself.

Catwoman rather than Batman

I’ve assumed that what you are doing online is legal. Of course, if it’s criminal then your interlocutor may have a duty to report you to the police in some jurisdictions.

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At least in the US, there's nothing inherently illegal about camming, if you're over 18 and you are correctly declaring your income to the IRS.

You'll have a hard time convincing anybody that this is an invasion of your privacy; you're being very un-private on the cam. And it's not an invasion of privacy for someone to link two online accounts together through their own research.

That said, if are they are demanding you pay the money or do something in exchange for not revealing your identity, that can be extortion, depending on jurisdiction.

But, if you want to fight them in court or with law enforcement, your privacy immediately disappears, and they got what they wanted.

Doxxing is another matter; that typically means private information (could be bank accounts, ID numbers, etc.) released, and depending on the type of info and jurisdiction, that can be illegal. But again, that will require law enforcement or a court to enforce, and that impacts your privacy.

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