We're Not Doing Enough to End Revenge Porn

A new California law just doesn't go far enough: Slate's Emily Bazelon

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 26, 2013 1:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Imagine one day you found that the entire first page of Google results for your name consisted of nude photos leaked online by a bitter ex. What would you do? In most states, you'd have no legal recourse, writes Emily Bazelon at Slate. "This can't be right—revenge porn cannot be allowed to be a harm without a remedy." A new California law tries to address the problem, but it puts the onus on prosecutors to prove the poster intended to inflict emotional harm.

Instead, the law should recognize "posting a sexual photo without consent as an objectively harmful invasion of privacy." We should go after sites that host the images, too. Right now, they're protected from users' misdeeds by the Communications Decency Act. But exceptions to that law exist for copyright infringement and child porn, so why not revenge porn? Opponents of such crackdowns cite free-speech concerns, but one law professor has another explanation: "We're still trivializing harm against women." Click for the full column.

  (Shutterstock)
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Just as two people having had consensual sex doesn't mean later encounters are necessarily consensual, a picture offered as a consensual sexual gesture can later be turned into a tool to harass and abuse. - Amanda Marcotte, Slate writer

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