Today in Washington, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation put forth a motion for Congress to make "nonconsensual distribution of sexually explicit images," or, what is commonly known as "revenge porn" a federal crime. In their report, they specify that the federal government needs to take a stand against the heinous crime by making it illegal as well as providing necessary resources for victims to help them get their lives back on track.
In simple terms, revenge porn would come out of a situation where you might send your SO sexually graphic pictures or videos, and then post-breakup (in an attempt to humiliate you for dumping them) they would then post those nudes all over the Internet. It sounds absolutely despicable, but revenge porn is actually a lot more common than you might think. Roughly 95 percent of the victims are women, and the damage can be staggering.
Well over half of the victims report that their actual name, or other identifying information, accompanied the inappropriate images. That means that if they were applying for a job, all their boss would have to do would be to search their name online for the pictures to surface. It can take social, emotional, professional and even financial tolls, and as of right now only 23 states in the U.S. have some sort of legislation against the act (as of June 2015).
So what's been done about it so far? Well for starters, both Google and Reddit have taken steps to combat the proliferation of these toxic images, and Twitter and Facebook have also come on board . Recently a California congresswoman, Jackie Speier, just reintroduced her bill to make revenge porn a federal crime, although it is still a long way from passing. On a recent episode of "Last Week Tonight," comedic late night host John Oliver briefly brushed on the topic:
We can only hope that this bill moves forward as the issue gets more attention. Of course, online harassment exists in many forms for both genders, but if "revenge porn" can be made a federal crime, it might open the door for more legislation to protect internet users' privacy.