United States: California Passes Law Against "Revenge Porn"
Friday, September 27, 2013 10:40 AM

California has just passed a law against online "revenge porn". Through these sites, ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands post nude photos of their previous partners. Accompanying these photos is often revealing information about the woman, including her name, address, and where she works. This type of online harassment has many negative effects. Victims have reported losing their job, being stalked, or having to change their name or appearance.

Because of First Amendment issues, sites like these are usually protected from criminal punishment. California’s new law makes this type of harassment a misdemeanor punishable by jail time or a fine. New Jersey is the only state that allows for criminal prosecution for those who post on "revenge porn" sites. Lawsuits based on invasion of privacy, child pornography, or copyright infringement sometimes succeed and result in the ex-lover being fined or a site being shut down. However, this does not solve the problem, since images online can spread rapidly from one site to another. Lawmakers are undecided about whether revenge posting should be addressed on a federal or local level.   

Compiled from: Erica Goode, Victims Push Laws to End Online Revenge Posts, New York Times (September 23, 2013)