BullyVille in the Press
'It can ruin a woman's life, family and career': New York State moves to stop 'exploitative' revenge porn sites and protect victims
Article by: Dailymail
October 08, 2013

'It can ruin a woman's life, family and career': New York State moves to stop 'exploitative' revenge porn sites and protect victims

  • Sites set up and used by men to share naked photos of ex-girlfriends and lovers
  • Currently no protection for victims outside of filing a lawsuit

  • New proposal looks to jail and/or fine persecutors
  • Follows similar bill in California



New York is the latest US state to make a move in outlawing 'revenge porn' - websites used by bitter exes to humiliate their former girlfriends by sharing private sexual images online.

Three legislators have submitted proposals in attempt to stop the growing spread of the spiteful sites and hold the ex-partners behind them accountable by introducing jail sentences and fines.

Some of the sites attempt to pose as standard porn outlets while others contain an element of extortion, offering to remove the pictures in exchange for money.

'Revenge porn can ruin a woman's life, family and career,' the state representative of Suffolk County, Phil Boyle, told The Guardian.

Revenge porn

New York State have set the ball rolling in banning 'revenge porn', which are exploitative websites that publish naked photos of women, such as this, that have been sent in anonymously by former boyfriends and lovers

Phil Boyle

N.Y. State Senator Phil Boyle is leading the charge of proposing a bill to outlaw revenge porn sites

'As the social media phenomenon grows, more and more women are being violated and exploited by their ex-boyfriends and husbands. These private images go viral to the world and women have little or no legal recourse. I will introduce a bill to give law enforcement the tools to protect victims of revenge porn.'

Victims of revenge porn have until now only been able to sue their persecutors as a means of protection against the craze, going after them for invasion of privacy.

Boyle referenced the case of a Florida woman who was forced to change her name due to the onslaught of harassment caused by appearing on a revenge porn site.


One year after breaking up with her boyfriend of three years, the woman discovered naked pictures of herself online.

The personal photos quickly spread to 200 similar sites and, in a shocking blow, included her email and work addresses.

Phone numbers are also often featured with the photos.

Along with Boyle, Democratic assemblyman Edward Braunstein and Republican state senator Joseph Griffo also released plans to take action.

Revenge porn

The online publication of naked or graphic 'selfies' - the term used for taking a photo of oneself - were not covered by the anti-revenge porn bill passed in California though. New York intends to change that however

'Disseminating sexual explicit images that were shared with an expectation of privacy can cause lasting damage to victims and should be a crime,' Braunstein said.

'Currently, these victims have limited options when their pictures taken with their consent, were posted online," added Griffo.

'They would have to enlist a lawyer and threaten to sue the person responsible for sharing the photo or the website hosting them, for invasion of privacy.'

The move follows a California bill passed earlier this month that outlawed the publication of such material.

Senate Bill 255, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, defined revenge porn as the publication of 'nude images' of another person 'with the intent to cause substantial emotional distress or himuliation'.

The published photos need to be accompanied by 'personal identifying information' of the subject.

Those caught face up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine.

Hunter Moore

Controversial: Hunter Moore, of LA, is largely credited with starting the revenge porn craze after launching a website called Is Anyone Up?, where men would submit pictures that Moore would then put online. At one point he claimed to have 30 million monthly visitors. While the site was eventually shut down in 2012, it was not without drama. Moore was stabbed by a woman whose picture he put on the site

However the California bill has come under fire for being too lenient.

Crucially, it fails to cover 'selfies', i.e. photos taken by the subject.

A huge amount of the photos used on revenge porn site are selfies that have been sent to their now-former partners.

A survey by the Florida-based Cyber Civil Rights Initiative found that 80% of revenge porn victims had taken the photos or videos themselves

CCRI founder Holly Jacobs claims one bill drafter told her that people who took selfies were 'stupid'.

However Boyle maintained that his version of the law would not leave out such photos.

'If a young woman takes a picture of herself, sends it to the boyfriend (and) a couple of years later he's posting it, that would be included under our legislation,' he told radio 1010 WINS.

Revenge porn first gained notoriety via the now-defunct IsAnyoneUp.com, a pornographic submission website set up by founder Hunter Moore in 2010.

Following much controversy, Moore, who at one point said the site was getting 30 million visits a month, sold the site to anti-bullying campaigner James McGibney, the CEO of Bullyville.com, who closed it down in 2012.

Kayla Laws, a 25-year-old aspiring actress, claimed nude photos of her ended up on IsAnyoneUp.com, though she said she never sent them to anyone.

At the time, she had said: 'It ruins everything I've built up for myself.'

Moore, who is based in Los Angeles, had earned up to $20,000 each month from the site through advertising revenue.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449827/It-ruin-womans-life-family-career-New-York-moves-stop-exploitative-revenge-porn-sites-protect-victims.html#ixzz2hC3wZlTK 
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