The U. Marine Corps is investigating a veteran's allegations that military personnel and other veterans distributed nude photos of female colleagues and other women as part of a social media network that promotes sexual violence. The revelation was first uncovered by a decorated combat veteran's non-profit news site and reported Saturday by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Clark Carpenter, a Marine Corps spokesman, confirmed that an investigation is underway, Marine Corps Times reported, but he said military officials were uncertain exactly how many personnel were involved. Nude photos were allegedly shared online via a Facebook group titled Marines United , which has nearly 30, members, mostly active-duty U. An online link to the the photos, as well as the names and units of the women pictured, was posted in January by a former Marine who was working for a defense contractor, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
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The US defence department is investigating reports that a number of marines shared naked and semi-naked photographs of female colleagues on Facebook. The pictures were posted within a members-only group called Marines United, and were accompanied by vulgar and highly aggressive sexual messages. The Facebook group included around 30, active and retired male marines. Its activity was uncovered by The War Horse, a non-profit news organisation run by marine veteran Thomas Brennan. In January, a Marines United member posted a link to a shared folder, hosted on Google Drive, which contained photos of numerous female marines in various states of undress, according to The War Horse report. Members encouraged each other to find and upload more images, it said. They also identified the women by their names, ranks and units. The Google Drive has been deleted, and Facebook and Google have closed social media accounts of those posting the images, following a Marine Corps' request. The photo sharing began in the same month that the first US Marine infantry unit began receiving women.
New Marine Corps survey data could give leaders a glimpse into whether women and others feel protected from discrimination two years after a nude-photo scandal exposed the way some men were mistreating their female colleagues. Marines across the ranks said their service is no better or worse than those in the civilian job sector at dealing with issues such as gender relations, freedom from harassment, discrimination and fair performance evaluation. In , top Marine Corps leaders were forced to address a troubling report about a group called Marines United that shared photos of female troops online without their permission. The scandal highlighted a disturbing trend of female Marines being disrespected by men in the ranks. Hogan stressed that the survey doesn't offer a full glimpse into the command climate across the Marine Corps, but rather a snapshot of how Marines feel about certain issues at a given point in time and in their careers. But it could indicate that Marines don't feel leaders are doing any better than anyone else when it comes to combating the problems, despite years of reforms. Following the scandal, the Corps created a task force to identify gender-related problems leading to a breakdown in unit cohesion or good order. Hogan said Marine officials will now keep an eye on these categories as more survey data trickles in over the coming years to see whether there's a trend specific within certain ranks or groups of Marines.