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I was browsing through some porn sites at home last night and came across a videoclip. It was around 2 minutes long and uploaded one day ago. From what i could see, it looks very much like her. I've never talked to this female colleague before, so i'm not sure how to bring it to her notice. Also i'm not completely sure that its her, more like 80/20. Its really bugging me. If its not her and i tell her about it, i may get in trouble. If its her and if i ignore it and she comes to to find out about it after few days, it maybe too late for any damage control. I'm really confused. What should i do?

closed as off-topic by gnat, scaaahu, Alec, Joel Etherton, Kent A. Aug 14 '15 at 17:47

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  • 1
    I would ignore it. There's very little chance that she can do something about it even if you do tell her. Once a video like that is online it's already pretty much out of your control where it will end up. Though perhaps relevant to know: Is the video on some obscure website where you doubt many people will find it, or is it on a popular / well-known place where other colleagues/family would surely find it? – Praxis Ashelin Aug 14 '15 at 9:24
  • I thought if she comes to know about it soon, she could contact the site admins to remove that content. Its on a popular site. The chance someone finding it and recognizing her is very likely. If only i was completely sure, i would somehow bring it to her notice. But in 2mins, only 15-20 seconds i could see her face in a different angle but looks awfully like her. Maybe i should take your advice and drop it. – userckgh Aug 14 '15 at 9:35
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    Obvious observation: Do you really think it's a good idea to announce to the world that you watch that sort of materiel? The fact that many do doesn't make it any less icky as a discussion topic, despite Avenue Q's cheerful assertion that "The Internet is for Porn" or Arthur C Clarke's observation that porn is the leading early adopter of most communications technologies. – keshlam Aug 14 '15 at 13:36
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    This Q should be reopened. It is possible to remove the whole porn-context and still have a valid and important question: "Should I notify a colleague about controversial websites featuring them?" (or which talk about them or display them) – mafu Aug 14 '15 at 22:40
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    This question seems on-topic to me. – Monica Cellio Aug 14 '15 at 23:21
42

Ignore it.

  1. You are only 80% sure.

  2. It is already to late for damage control.

As you said in your comment, it's hard to prove her identity in the video. Should she ever be confronted with it, that gives her the opportunity to deny it.

  • Two answers, two options. Ignore or anonymously tip her off. Not much more to say. – WernerCD Aug 14 '15 at 15:54
  • #3 - The asker's never spoken to her before (thus she has no baseline regarding possible intention) - that could only make it so much more awkward. #4 - Many people are already uncomfortable talking about porn. #5 - Ignorance is bliss (whether or not it turns out to be her). #6 - She could already know about it - what benefit could she get from knowing that at least one of her coworkers also knows (whether or not it's her and whether or not it was uploaded with her consent). Feel free to add these to your answer if you wish. – Dukeling Aug 14 '15 at 16:06
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    I don't really agree with #2 - things on the internet can last for many, many years. As long as there's something out there that could ruin your reputation, it's never too late to do something about it. – Dukeling Aug 14 '15 at 16:19
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    @Dukeling I agree that it's not too late for damage control. If there is another person in the video then it would be likely that the coworker knows who shared the video and could press charges. – David K Aug 14 '15 at 16:28
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It sounds like you are okay with ignoring it and letting things go, which I actually think is the right choice in this instance. However, if you were more confident it was her and felt the need to tell her, I would do it anonymously.

Create a sock email account and send her an email from a concerned acquaintance. For example:

Dear Alice,

I am an acquaintance of yours and stumbled upon something I thought you should know. Not too long ago I found a video on a porn site that looks very much like you. The video looks like it was taken surreptitiously, so I was concerned that you didn't know it existed. Hopefully this isn't actually you, but I thought it better to say something and be wrong than to remain silent. I chose to remain anonymous as I do not know you that well and do not want to create any awkwardness between us. You can find the video at this site under the title XYZ.

Sincerely, A concerned acquaintance

If you only have her work email, be careful about sending porn links to her office account - you don't want to get her in trouble. If you go this route, just make sure your tone is considerate and to the point. If the video is her she will already feel violated and doesn't need it enforced that you recognized her backside.

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    Besides the fact that this means the OP's browsing habits are safe, it protects him from having to explain to HR why he randomly started talking to his female colleague about porn videos if she misconstrues it as some kind of weird way of flirting. – IllusiveBrian Aug 14 '15 at 13:54
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    Not just flirting but downright harassment "Hey I saw someone in a porno that looks just like you" is pretty much one of the creepiest things you can say to someone in the workplace, especially if you barely interact. – corsiKa Aug 14 '15 at 14:37
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    I think this is bad advice. I would instead ignore it completely. If you tell her anonymously, and it was not her in the video, she will be concerned how someone thinks it may be her. On the other hand, if it was actually her in the video, she will be concerned that someone found out - regardless if the video was taken with or without her knowing. So it's best not to touch this at all. – mafu Aug 14 '15 at 14:37
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    "do not want to create any awkwardness between us" should continue "But I'm ok with you wondering every day for the rest of your time at work which one of us watched this video and thought of you. Good luck with that! At least I don't have to feel awkward." – Adam Davis Aug 14 '15 at 18:11
  • Probably will look like spam/phish and get deleted – jmorc Aug 14 '15 at 18:39
2

The fact of the matter is that is has nothing to do with you.

The person in question may be happy with it on-line. Porn is made by real people and they do have acquaintances. So is this a "scandal".

So you wish to go to a stranger and say "I watched porn last night and I liked/disliked your performance on this site".

Just do nothing.

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