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‘Revenge Porn’ May Soon Be Deemed Illegal

‘Revenge porn’ is usually when angry boyfriends upload nude images and other explicit content of their ex-girlfriends. These images are then widely shared on the web, thus causing indirect harm to the victim. The Legislature is now considering a ban on publishing such materials online and deeming it illegal.


Legislature

The problem here is that most of the times, the images that are eventually uploaded are taken with the consent of the person in them. But the same person usually doesn’t grant explicit permission to upload these images and host them at porn sites.

The proposal that is currently being debated in the Legislature aims to distinguish between these two aspects of ‘revenge porn.’ It essentially wants to allow a person to launch a legal case if he or she is somehow affected at finding their own personal images at any of the online sites.

The exact words of the bill are that it would be considered disorderly conduct offense if someone ‘photographs or records by any means the image of another, identifiable person with his or her consent who is in a state of full or partial undress in any area in which the person being photographed or recorded has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and subsequently distributes the image with the intent to cause serious emotional distress. It could be punishable by up to a year in prison if the victim is a minor or the individual commits more than one offense.’

The onus of responsibility will lie not on the host site but on the uploading user. However, this is a very tricky distinction that the courts will have to make, if the bill is passed. It will essentially rest on the ‘intents’ of the perpetrator and the victim.

Courtesy: SFGate

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