Revenge Porn has Become a Menace in Our Society

Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
Share on twitter
Share on facebook

In 2019, a freshman Democrat from the state of California turned in her resignation from Congress. 

The reason behind this you ask?

Earlier that month there were nudes photos of her that were leaked to the press, without her knowledge.

It was later alleged that it was the congresswoman’s separated husband, who had committed this crime. 

The crime here is the dissemination of explicit images without the consent of the parties involved. In layman’s terms, we are talking about revenge porn. 

When this story made the news, it was one of the first times many Americans heard this phrase. 

But such crimes have been there for quite some time, as we all revenge porn laws to stop these. 

If we were to just have a look at such cases through the last decade, you would be shocked and appalled at how common this crime is. Not just in America, but all over the globe.

What Is Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn refers to the act of sharing explicit images and videos, without the consent of the person involved in them.

Frequently this material was originally taken and shared consensually between intimate partners, but after a break-up, one partner posts it publicly to humiliate their ex. 

Currently, there is a growing movement to recognize the seriousness of this behavior which can disrupt the lives of victims and make it difficult for them to hold jobs or maintain relationships, leading in some cases to depression and suicide. 

Lately, this has become a major problem not only amongst the younger generation but amongst people of all ages. 

There are more and more cases of revenge porn coming up in the news all across the globe.

A survey conducted by The Pew Research Centre revealed that incidents of revenge porn are the most common among teens. Also among adults in their mid-twenties. The lack of awareness surrounding the dangers and consequences of sharing explicit images can be blamed for this issue. 

Revenge porn cases have significantly risen since 2015. 

There was a huge spike in the reported cases of revenge porn between 2015 and 2016.

Experts believe the blame here is on technology, along with a lack of awareness. 

With most mobile phones having decent quality cameras and everyone having access to the internet, sharing media has never been easier. 

Numerous revenge porn sites offenders can use to share and distribute images and videos, both openly and anonymously. Partial blame falls on porn sites too. Due to the lack of regulation and censorship on porn websites, a good chunk of videos on these websites consist of revenge porn.

All of this combined has made “Revenge Porn” an easy means of getting back at someone. 

Shocking Cases Of Revenge Porn Across The Globe

Even though this problem has been around, what’s different now is that people openly report cases.  

One of the first cases that brought revenge porn into the light and gained the attention of the general public, was the case of former Rep. Katie Hill. 

In November 2019, Congresswoman Katie Hill resigned from Congress, after an incident that involved the circulation of her nude images without her knowledge and consent.

Hill then went on to file a lawsuit against her husband, who she believed leaked the aforementioned images of her while they were in the middle of getting a divorce.

Alongside her husband, the former congresswoman also sued the owners of The Daily Mail and the right-wing blog RedState. 

Similar to the Katie Hill revenge porn issue, others have been quite common in the past decade.

But, ever since the pandemic hit, revenge porn cases have gone through the roof. The lockdown seems to have exacerbated the problem. 

The UK’s revenge porn helpline dealt with the largest number of cases over the course of the recent lockdown. It was a similar case in the US and other European countries. 

Cases in Recent Times

In late December of 2020, more than 1,400 explicit snaps of the mistress of the king of Thailand were forwarded to the detractors of the royal family.

The leak of the “very explicit” photos of Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, also known as Koi, is thought to be connected to a bitter rivalry between the King’s mistress and his wife. 

These pictures of Koi provocative posing for the camera, came right after she joined the Royal harem late last year. Crimes like these happen to everyone. Common man or royalty.  

At the beginning of 2021, The Telegraph published a news story. 

It was of a victim who came forward devastated that her abuser faced no repercussions for the crimes he committed. 

This was a result of the popular social media platform Snapchat failing to provide evidence of any wrongdoing. 

Snapchat is a social media platform, designed to automatically delete material, once it is opened. 

The problem here is that this also includes potentially incriminating images and videos that can be used in court. 

So, when the victim filed a complaint against her abuser, by the time Snapchat responded to her forces, it was already too late and all the evidence has already vanished. 

Another incident in early May of 2020, a woman in India lodged a complaint of obscene images of her being circulated without her consent. 

After registering the case under the IT act, when the police started their investigation, it was revealed that more than 500 people were involved in this crime ring of circulating pornographic images and videos in North India. 

The main culprit in this particular situation was the ex-boyfriend of the victim. He was later tracked down and arrested in West Bengal. 

It Does Not Only Affect Women

Men are victims of such crimes too.

In 2020 a woman was jailed after she was found posing as a man on the dating app Grindr. Using explicit images of a man without his consent. 

The judge on the case revealed that Yannick Glaudin, the woman in question was driven by revenge to use the pictures of the man, who had long broken contact with her. 

She sent intimate photos of the user to his family, friends, and colleagues, as well as spreading false rumours about his then-boyfriend.

These are just a few such instances. But, cases like these are on the rise currently. Especially over the course of the lockdown, cases of revenge porn have doubled in number.

The Psyche behind Revenge Porn

Even though revenge porn is never the victim’s fault, due to the way our society thinks, it is often the victim who is shamed and blamed in the end for what happened. 

In our society, there is a lot of pressure on both men and women when it comes to sexual behaviour. 

No matter how progressive your surroundings might be, you are still judged in this aspect of life.

This is even more true for women. 

Dr. McNulty, a psychologist who has been dealing with similar issues for quite some time now believes, If women were not as judged and treated as sexual objects in society, then revenge porn would not be as widespread. 

The shame here also comes from knowing that revenge porn videos showing your naked body has been shared publicly. 

Constantly worrying about the number of people who have seen it. Even if 5 people saw the picture, it doesn’t feel that way. When you’re on the bus getting to work, it feels as though everyone on the bus has seen the image.

It leaves the victim feeling vulnerable and helpless at all times. Worse yet, it does harm to whoever watches that as well.

But, where is the shame when it comes to the person who committed the crime? 

Why would someone commit a heinous crime like this? 

Anger and hatred are often key behind such crimes. 

It is often when a person feels betrayed and hurt, they try their hardest to make the person who hurt them feel the same kind of pain and sadness. 

Due to the taboo and stigma that surrounds sex and sexual behaviors in this society, it has come to believe that revenge porn is the fastest and easiest way to hurt one’s sentiments and reputation. 

Can You Spot Someone Who Could Do This?

The director of the National Centre For Cyberstalking Research, Professor Emma Short, revealed that a large number of revenge porn cases happen under the influence of alcohol or under extreme emotional distress. 

She also made a surprising statement, claiming that under extreme circumstances, as simple humans everyone is capable of posting revenge porn. 

But, other experts believe this to not be true. 

While sharing intimate images, if you feel coerced, pressured, or even slightly uncomfortable, that should be enough to set off alarm bells. 

When someone is not respecting your privacy, comfort, and feelings when you’re on good terms, then they are way less likely to do it when you’re no longer on good terms.

This TEDx Talk by Lawyer Ann Olivarius, who has previously represented many victims of this “new” crime, explains the psyche of revenge porn and how to deal with it in much finer detail. 

From victim blaming to stigmatizing acts, we have a lot of things to blame for this problem.

Don’t you think it’s time to end this vicious cycle?

Revenge Porn Laws around the World

Lady Justice, law library concept

With the increase in revenge porn cases worldwide, many countries have come up with their own set of laws. These laws are specific to their culture and way of living.

Revenge porn sites help this crime cross all international borders.

And there is no set global standard of dealing with these crimes.

However, recently more and more countries have introduced new laws and are moving to protect the victims. 

Here are some of the laws that countries across the globe have passed. They have all been an attempt to curb the problem of revenge porn.

Canada

The government of Canada passed the Bill C-13 in 2015. Popularly known as the cyberbullying act. 

The bill not only protects children from online harassment and bullying but can also be used in cases of revenge porn. 

Soon after the bill was passed in 2015, in early 2016 Canada saw its first big victory in this matter a woman was awarded $100,000 in damages after winning a case of revenge porn against her ex-boyfriend.

Germany

Germany is one of the few countries in the world that has implemented very strict laws on privacy. 

These laws are applicable to revenge porn too. 

The two main laws that can be used to fight against revenge porn are The General Data Protection Regulation and The Art Copyright Law. 

Under these laws, the affected individual can seek civil law remedies against the act of revenge porn. 

England

Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act passed in 2015, makes it a criminal offense to disclose private and sexual photographs and films without the consent of the individual depicted and with the intent to cause distress.

If proven guilty, there is a maximum sentence of two years of imprisonment. 

Japan

The Japanese government passed the Prevention of Damage by Provision of Private Sexual Image Records Act in 2014.

Under this act, revenge porn is a punishable offense. 

It carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison or a fine of 500,000 yen. 

This was a revolutionary act.

It allows internet service providers to delete suspected media related to revenge porn without the consent of the uploader and alerting the authorities about the crime. 

United States of America

Different states in the US have different rules and laws implemented.

For example, in Arizona, The Unlawful Distribution of Private Images, 2016 through amending Section 13‑1425 of the Arizona Revised Statutes makes the distribution of private images of another person without their consent unlawful.

In Illinois, Section 11-23.5 of The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that non-consensual distribution of sexual images is a class 4 felony. Other states in the United States Of America have passed similar laws too.

Australia

Like the US, there is no national law in Australia. 

However, two states, Victoria and South Australia, have already criminalized revenge porn. 

New South Wales is in the process of proposing legislation.

Maximum penalties include two years in jail in Victoria and either a $10,000 fine or two years in jail in South Australia.

Conclusion

As mentioned above, over the course of 2020, the cases of revenge porn have only gotten worse.

 News reports say it has become the “new normal”. 

But, this is no way to move into the new year. As responsible citizens of this world, it is our duty to put an end to heinous crimes like these. 

Revenge porn is a cultural phenomenon. It is a result of the culture of rape that is so prominent in our society.

A culture that sexualizes and objectifies the female body to no limit. 

To change a culture like this, strong willpower, patience and the will to fight should be present. In conditions like these, even the smallest change matters. 

The more aware we become of such issues. The more awareness we spread among those around us. 

Only then will the frequency of such crimes will eventually decrease and hopefully stop. 

Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
Share on twitter
Share on facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Copyright © 2021 Atmana Innovations (formerly FunSwitch Technologies). All rights reserved.

Liking this article?

Why don't you help out your friends by sharing this with them?

Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
Share on twitter
Share on facebook