'Revenge Porn' Is Unethical, But Should It Be Criminalized?


WARNING: This post contains nudity.

Posted by Anthonism

“Someone stole naked pictures of me. This is what I did about it. 
Who should be able to see you naked? Do you think you deserve a say? Four years ago, someone decided that I didn’t. I woke up one morning and found that my email and Facebook had been hacked, and naked pictures of me had been posted online. This has been called Revenge Porn, but revenge implies that it’s just one person out to destroy your life. I never found out who hacked me, but I do know that thousands of others viewed the images, commented on them, shared further information about me, the names of my siblings and parents, where I worked. Non-consensual pornography is a devastating experience. But it was made so much harder knowing how many people were involved. Emails arrived in my inbox saying things like this… ‘DO YOUR PARENTS KNOW THAT UR A SLUT?’ or, this… ‘SEND ME MORE NUDES OR ILL SEND THE ONES I HAVE TO YOUR BOSS.’ Messages came from all over the world; teenage boys, university students, and middle-aged fathers. The only thing they had in common was that they were all from men. You probably won’t be surprised if I tell you that nearly 90% of the victims of non-consensual porn are female. But, here’s what you might not know. Most of those men knew those pictures were posted against my will and my humiliation was part of their thrill. I wish I could say that the abuse ended that day, or that week, or that month, but years later I’m still being harassed. I sent an email to a site that was profiting off some of the pictures pleading that they remove them. This was their reply… ‘You shouldn’t have been such a whore in the first place.’ This was the turning point where I realized this wasn’t just about me. This was about hatred of women. Here was a porn site where tons of pictures were being constantly posted, never with the permission of the women in them. Many people have said that these women shouldn’t have taken the pictures in the first place, that our behavior is the problem. But, you don’t end misogyny by limiting women’s rights to expression and privacy. The issue of hacked photos is part of a larger problem with our relationship to consent. Creepshots on public transport, catcalling on the street, the shocking rates of assault on U.S. college campuses, none of these women agreed to a sexual situation. But, again, to many others, this is part of the allure. The more I understood how these things were related, the angrier I became, and I felt that my silence implied that I should be ashamed. So, last year I got in touch with a photographer, Cecilie Bødker, and we decided to take a new set of pictures. We both felt that so often photographs of women make them the object rather than the subject. Our project reverses this. It was important to me not to distance myself from my body, not to blame me for causing this humiliation, and not to be cowed into denying my sexuality. I get why people think this is counterintuitive, but I disagree. Consent is key. I did this. Just as rape and sex have nothing to do with each other, pictures shared with and without this consent are completely different things.”

The man, Hunter Moore, behind a "revenge porn" website has pleaded guilty to hacking and identity theft, in Los Angeles

'Revenge porn' mogul Hunter Moore pleads guilty

The man behind a "revenge porn" website has pleaded guilty to hacking and identity theft, in Los Angeles. Hunter Moore, 28, faces between two and seven years in prison, according to the US Attorney's Office...

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You have heard Emma Holten's anti-revenge porn testimony. If you agree with her argument, head over to EndRevengePorn.org to learn how you can help put a stop to it.

If you're not quite convinced, perusing the articles with varying points of view below will assist you in forming an opinion. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section and vote on our 'Should 'Revenge Porn' Be Criminalized?' poll.

non-consensual porn voodoo doll

Revenge Porn Is Bad. Criminalizing It Is Worse

“Free speech is important, but…” Oh no. Here we go again.

This time, the issue is the criminalization of revenge porn. Much of the media narrative characterizes revenge porn as a new, runaway technological scourge too disruptive to fall under any existing law, but that is simply untrue. A number of legal remedies against both vengeful exes and website operators already exist: civil tort actions, DMCA takedowns, criminal statutes against extortion, and even a federal law that could give the FBI authority to go after the sites...Read More

In this Oct. 30, 2013, photo, anti-revenge porn advocate Annmarie Chiarini speaks with a reporter after a news conference to announce a bill that would criminalize "revenge porn"

'Revenge porn' is wrong, but is it criminal? NY and other states weigh free-speech implications

Annmarie Chiarini's long-distance boyfriend was goading her to pose nude. The pictures would be for his eyes only, Chiarini recalls him saying, because she was so beautiful and because he missed her so much...Read More

gavel on the scales of justice

Revenge Porn: Laws & Penalties

Currently, revenge porn – the online posting of explicit photos of people without their permission, usually by exes – is a legal gray area in most states...Read More

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The criminalization of ‘revenge porn’

Imagine browsing the Internet and discovering that an ex-partner posted sexually explicit images of you online, without your consent, to get back at you for ending the relationship...Read More

VOTE ON THE BIGGEST PET PEEVES IN LAW

Here are Emma Holten and Cecilie Bødker's pictures from their anti-revenge porn activist campaign:

Anti-revenge porn activist Emma Holten consents to nude pictures #1
Anti-revenge porn activist Emma Holten consents to nude pictures #2
Anti-revenge porn activist Emma Holten consents to nude pictures #3
Anti-revenge porn activist Emma Holten consents to nude pictures #4