BullyVille in the Press
'Revenge Porn' Banned In California: New Legislation Could Put an End to Ex-Girlfriend Shaming Nude Photo Leak Sites
Article by: HNGN
August 29, 2013

'Revenge Porn' Banned In California: New Legislation Could Put an End to Ex-Girlfriend Shaming Nude Photo Leak Sites

By Julia Lynn Rubin [email protected] | Aug 28, 2013 03:14 PM EDT

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Revenge Porn
"Revenge porn" sites allow subscribers to post naked and compromising photos and videos of their ex-partners to the public without their consent. (Photo : Video Still, ABC News)

*This story has been updated to note a few changes. 

A groundbreaking new California law designed to attack the outbreak of "revenge porn" could help put a stop to the creepy phenomenon of men sending private, nude photos of their ex-girlfriends to porn sites, the Daily Mail reports.


New legislation from the California Assembly on "revenge porn" is currently being considered, and anyone that breaks such a law could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Because it is difficult to track down the perpetrators who post such images without their ex's consent, the proposed law would rely upon proof that the images were sent out to intentionally cause the victim "serious emotional distress."

Yesterday, the new bill was approved by California's Senate Public Safety Committee.

"We had some victims come forward and we did some research and we felt it was something important to address," Republican senator Anthony Canella, who is sponsoring the new bill, told the Daily Mail, adding that the problem affects victims financially as well as emotionally, as many "revenge porn" sites demand the victim pay a fee before their photos are taken down.

Legislative director of the California State Sheriff's Association, Nick Warner, told the Daily Mail that he was looking forward to legally tackling anyone who wanted to humiliate their ex-girlfriends, boyfriends and spouses by posting potentially embarrassing photos and videos online.

"It's happening with increasing frequency," Warner said, adding that he "didn't even know what the phrase meant a year ago."

Holly Jacobs has been attempting to get "revenge born" banned with her campaign, End Revenge Porn, inspired to take action after becoming a victim of the practice after an ex-boyfriend posted her naked photos after they broke up. She and Canella have been working together to make the new bill effective as soon as possible.

"I have made every effort to ensure that it is worded in such a way as to provide the appropriate protection to victims while being careful not to impose on First Amendment rights," Jacobs wrote in an email to Buzzfeed. "If this bill ultimately becomes a law, I am confident and excited about the prospect that other states will follow suit and pass their own bills to outlaw revenge porn." Jacobs hopes the bill will be extended to protecting people that take explicit pictures of themselves and post them online, their private images up for grabs by money-hungry porn sites.

Sites such as IsAnyoneUp.com, now defunct due to a multitude of complaints and an FBI investigation can rake in thousands of dollars a year in revenue for savvy webmasters. The controversial, similarly toned site TheDirty.com, which "exposes" and sets out to huimiliate a number of men and women, never posts fully nude photos, but has still been the subject of controversy for years.

Anti-bullying site BullyVille.com helped take down IsAnyoneUp, and with their motto of "taking the bully down by the horns," works to shut down "revenge porn" sites of a similar nature. 

As for the newest piece of legislation, Communications strategist for Northern California, Shanelle Matthews, told the Los Angeles Times: "We'll review the final amendments once they've been made and decide on a position, if any, then."

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