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How my face, and my toes, ended up on a porn site

Fan used copyrighted material to create video, photo montage of Sudbury.com reporter then uploaded it to various websites without consent
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The video included images of Sudbury.com new media reporter Heather Green-Oliver eating food while on assignment and close-up shots of her feet in sandals.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t know what ‘vorarephilia’ was. For 37 years, I was blissfully unaware that some people are erotically attracted to images of people eating food. But thanks to a stranger, the word “vore” will never leave my mind.

Let me explain.

Back in May 2017, Sudbury was crawling with tent caterpillars. The pests are known to make an appearance every couple of years so naturally I decided to produce a video for Sudbury.com that showed our viewers how to get rid of them. 

The video was simple, lighthearted and featured just four techniques, the last tip being to squish the caterpillars by stepping on them.

The video was uploaded to Sudbury.com’s YouTube channel and it did well, as far as views go.

One year later, I stumbled upon a duplicate of our caterpillar video — only it had been uploaded by a different YouTube channel.

This person had downloaded our video without our consent, cut everything but the scene where I stepped on the caterpillars (I just happen to be wearing sandals) and slowed it down so my massive women’s size 11 stomp looked and sounded more like that of a giant.

It became clear to me that this fan, and the other thousand-ish people who watched the video, has a fascination for feet and/or the act of crushing. But that’s not even the creepiest part.

At the end of the video the creator had made a photo montage of me. This person searched Sudbury.com’s social pages, as well as my personal social media account, to find images that either showed my bare toes or photos of me eating food, like the time I tried my first Five Guys burger while on assignment at their grand opening in Sudbury.

Needless to say, this video made me very uncomfortable. 

Sure, as a reporter, especially a video journalist, you’re used to your face being out there. But when a photo that was taken with innocent intent is presented in a way to feed someone’s kinky fetish, it’s more than unnerving.

After upping the security settings on my personal social media account, we filed a copyright claim with YouTube and filed a harassment complaint against the user. YouTube removed the video promptly and the user was banned from accessing our channel. I thought that was the end of it.

I was wrong. The world just wasn’t quite over my feet nor my appetite for delicious food, I guess.

Fast forward to 2020, a friend of mine phoned me in a panic telling me that he had somehow, (purely by accident, of course!), came across a video of me on a popular pornographic website.

My heart sank all the way down to my freakishly long toes — the notorious caterpillar crush video had resurfaced.

Of course, as soon as we alerted the website, the video was removed, but it was uploaded a year prior and managed to garner more than 5,000 views. 

On a site that hosts some obscenely crude content, my toes and photos of me devouring food managed to appeal to a small fraction of its audience. Frankly, I’m not sure if I should be disgusted or flattered.

I guess the moral of my story is this: Be careful what you post online, kids. Photos or video that you took with innocent intent may come back to haunt you. 

And maybe most importantly, always wear closed toed shoes when crushing tent caterpillars.

Heather Green-Oliver is a new media reporter at Sudbury.com and is the host of our Acts of Kindness (AOK) initiative, including the 12 Days of Kindness videos which run during the Christmas season.