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ENGLAND’S NEW REVENGE PORN LAW

Cyber Civil Rights, Revenge Porn

ENGLAND’S NEW REVENGE PORN LAW

February 16, 2015

It’s fUKly.

Frequently we talk about how the term “revenge porn” is a misnomer and that the real issue we must legislate is “nonconsensual porn.”  That’s because the distribution isn’t always motivated by revenge. Sometimes it’s for money, entertainment, gossip, bragging, out of boredom, for the “lulz,” or for no reason at all.

The new clumsily written UK law mistakenly interpreted the term revenge porn all to literally.  A regrettably underinclusive law was the result.  For the law to apply, the disclosure must have been “with the intention of causing [the depicted] individual distress.”

It drives this point home in subsection eight where it states that the law is not broken simply because “causing distress” was “a natural and probable consequence of the disclosure.”  So, even if it was obvious that it would cause the victim distress, this distress needs to have been the original goal of the offender.

So basically, a perpetrator can say, hey, I didn’t send it to all of her friends and colleagues to distress her, but because I was concerned that the mole on her labia majora could be malignant.  Or I didn’t post her naked pictures online for 60,000 people to view per day for it to distress her, but as a matter of public health in that I kindly wanted to warn other people about the diseases they could catch from her.  Or I didn’t put the pics on Twitter and Instagram to distress her, but because I was doing market research polling the public about whether her boobs were real or fake.  I didn’t post them on Subreddit to distress her, but because that guy was offering me one Bitcoin for every million views.

This is the actual text of the UK Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. Section 33—35 covers “Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress” and related definitions.

h/t Jon Colverson.