Numerous reports suggested that male members of secret Marine social media groups had been sharing nude photos of their female colleagues on the internet. After a Dropbox that contained illicit photos of dozens of female Marines was discovered to have over 30,000 subscribers, reporters began to re-assess the scope of the situation. As news of the horrifying nude photo scandal reaches the public, four branches of the military launched investigations into the situation. According to CNN, there is still no Defense Department-wide investigation — although why this hasn't warranted such a review remains unclear. The Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy are making separate statements on the subject.
"After being made aware of the photo sharing site ... we are looking further into the matter and taking it seriously, but cannot immediately verify any details about the site, the source of its content, or whether there has been any involvement by any airmen," the Air Force said.
"As members of the Army team, individuals' interaction offline and online reflect on the Army and its values. The Army defines online misconduct as the use of electronic communication to inflict harm, which includes, but is not limited to, instances of harassment, bullying, hazing, stalking, discrimination, retaliation, or any other types of misconduct that undermines dignity and respect," Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Jennifer R. Johnson said. "Soldiers or civilian employees who participate in or condone misconduct, whether offline or online, may be subject to criminal, disciplinary, and/or administrative action."
"We fully expect that the discovery of Marines United will motivate Marines to come forward to notify their chain of command of pages like it. Things may seem to get worse before they get better; Marines will attack this problem head-on and continue to get better," Capt. Ryan E. Alvis of the Marines said.
"It is a call to arms in the wake of recent reports of unprofessional and inappropriate social media behavior by some who have lost sight of that most fundamental purpose they themselves are duty-bound to serve," Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley said. "Our ability to succeed as a warfighting organization is directly tied to our ability to fight as one team -- a team that treats one another honorably."
After the Naval Criminal Investigative Service began their inquiries, members of the now-defunct Marines United group (which was heavily implicated in the scandal) directed investigators to websites which taunted those who sought to bring the situation to light.
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