There may finally be some protections coming for victims of so-called “revenge porn.”
If you have never heard of revenge porn, it is when someone — an ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or even former friend — uploads nude photos of another person to the Internet in an effort to shame and embarrass. There are several websites out there dedicated specifically to revenge porn, and a sad few protections for the victims.
Several states are now considering legislation that would protect people from this kind of harassment. California’s proposed legislation states:
Existing law makes it a crime for a person who, with the intent to place another person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of the other person’s immediate family, by means of an electronic communication device, and without consent of the other person, and for the purpose of imminently causing that other person unwanted contact, injury, or harassment by a 3rd party, distributes specified identifying information that would be likely to incite or produce that unlawful action.
This bill would make it a misdemeanor for any person who, with the intent to cause substantial emotional distress or humiliation to another person, by means of an electronic communication device, and without consent of the other person, electronically distributes, publishes, emails, hyperlinks, or makes available for downloading nude images of the other person along with personal identifying information of the other person.
In addition to California, Florida is also contemplating anti-revenge porn protections.
Considering what an epidemic sexting has become, especially amongst teenagers, legislation against revenge porn is definitely needed. Unfortunately, it may be too late for those whose pictures have already been put out there.