Revenge Porn – would you trust your ex?

A couple are all loved up and completely trusting of each other, exchange a few sexy pics. Couple break up and one half of the ex-couple discovers those sexy pictures have made their way onto the internet without their consent. This type of behaviour is becoming common, common enough to be known as revenge porn.

..sexually explicit media that is publicly shared online without the consent of the pictured individual with the intent to shame or embarrass the individual.[1] Revenge porn is typically uploaded by ex-partners or hackers.

This is cowardly form of bullying and harassment which police can do little about. There are obscenity and harassment laws in place but these laws haven’t acted as enough of a deterrent, worst case scenario if a person is charged with harassment they could spent 6 months in prison, a fine or both.  Social media sites can remove the pictures if asked but they can’t prevent those pictures from reappearing.

The government considered about making revenge porn a crime, this was then vetoed- ‘The peers rejected calls to create a new criminal offence of “revenge porn” because it was covered by existing obscenity and harassment laws.’ If this was the case then action would already have taken against those who were known to exact revenge porn on their victims. This might then explain the following comments made by the peers;

But they said clearer guidance was needed for police and prosecutors to help them secure convictions.

And perpetrators should not be allowed to post in complete anonymity.

The last line could be interpreted as it is ok to post revenge porn online as long as you don’t post them anonymously. Cynical view, perhaps but with cyberbullying as prevalent as it is you would have thought by now the government would want our police force to have access to resources to try and trace those who posted the explicit pictures online to begin with.

Being unable to post anonymously could act as a deterrent in itself, who wants to be known for behaving like a scorned ex lover who thinks it is a good idea to post private intimate pictures of their ex online to humiliate them? Not to mention the effect it could have on future relationships. On the other hand I would expect there are a lot of strange people out there who would be congratulated for their behaviour and see any sentancing / fines as a badge of honour.

It seems doing a good job, being a good parent or generally being a good human being does not warrant a badge of honour, but setting out to humiliate an ex-partner or in general being an idiot does.

Some websites were created specifically for the purpose of revenge porn, there are some disturbed people who see this as a business opportunity.

Strange times we live in.

There are a few American states who have introduced laws aimed at preventing ‘revenge porn’, yet the UK government thinks responsibility should lie with others such as social media sites and web firms.

  • Social media sites should respond quicker when police request information about alleged offenders
  • Web firms should develop their abuse monitoring and user protection systems
  • Parents and teachers should make children aware of what is acceptable online behaviour
  • Statistics on reported online offences should be improved

I know I am government bashing, generally because I have little faith in our legal system and many of the laws in place. The current obscenity and harassment laws in place don’t work, if they did we wouldn’t be in this situation , or is it the case when someone close to a peer becomes a victim of revenge porn that something will be done?

Just because some of those in our government are a few sandwiches short of a picnic hasn’t stopped others from trying to fight the victim’s corner. Lord Marks and Baroness Grender put forward an amendment to the government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill so that anyone caught ‘for the publication of explicit images of ex-partners without their knowledge and consent’ would have to spend a year in jail. Some would argue this is not long enough and in nowhere comparison to the distress they would have caused their victims but at least this request for amendment is taking the matter seriously and starting the ball rolling.

The internet is so ingrained in society and our lives that anything negative found online about us could hurt not only our self-esteem but also our online reputation and future. It’s not unknown for companies to Google search potential employees, you could only imagine their thoughts and opinions when an x-rated picture of candidate appears in the search results.

What can we do about it? Stop sharing intimate photos with partners? Stop trusting people and assume everyone, even those who are seemingly nice on the surface, will eventually turn round and stab you in the back? Sleep with one eye open because you don’t know who might be watching you sleep?

Even if the pictures are removed from the various websites there is nothing stopping them from being uploaded online again, plus is anything ever really deleted from the internet?

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4 thoughts on “Revenge Porn – would you trust your ex?

  1. In India. where dating is still frowned upon , pre-marital anything is taboo and affairs are a definite no, no, people are doing it on the sly.

    I don’t know about Revenge Porn, but I have heard of instances where the girl is blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend. just before her wedding to someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have heard that as well, Either way, the ‘boys’ in possession of the pictures have no right to use them in such a malicious way.
      In the Asian culture a woman’s reputation is very important, but to set out and deliberately ruin a woman’s reputation and make her life difficult is disgusting. More so is the way that some ‘boys’ think they have that right to behave like that.

      Like

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