Revenge Porn is on the Rise

Nov 16, 2016

Revenge porn is legally defined as the sharing of private, often sexual or explicit, photos or videos, of another person with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. Depending on your state, this crime carries possible jail time and a fine. More states are starting to adopt these laws to protect innocent victims who have been tormented by someone they know or even a stranger.

Due to social media apps on the rise, there are more avenues for people to submit nudes and pornography with personal information and profiles attached. Many websites and apps are anonymous, making it more difficult to pin point the actual offender. What is also disturbing is that many of these websites will charge fees to have these devastating pictures removed.

According to www.theguardian.com, two-thirds of incidents involved women under 30, with suspects being most likely former partners. There were eight female complainants to every male. We are seeing these ages getting younger as sexting is a growing trend with teenagers today. With the increase of cellphone technology and cyber bullying on social media, revenge porn can be anyone's problem.

One may ask, how does this happen? It starts with all the pornography accessible online today. Young adults, specifically teenagers and pre-teens have normalized some of these behaviors (sending naked photos online to friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends). A common theme is a bad break up, where harassment and abuse follows. We also see strangers who are stalking their victims due to being obsessed by the individual. They are usually found on social media profiles (public settings).

Many victims find out that their photo or video is posted on a website through a google search or an alert from the revenge porn website is sent to them (usually from an ex-boyfriend or frenemy). There are numerous websites that have been created to “host” these pictures and videos (for revenge). The First Amendment allows some of this material to be posted on the internet, which has been challenged in the courts due to the nature of the content/material.

The effects of these pictures and videos getting out have caused depression, low self-esteem, bullying and even suicide. Sexting can lead a teenager to expulsion from school and even charged with distribution of child pornography or sexual exploitation of a minor.

If you want to find out about the laws in your state on revenge porn, Net Nanny has compiled a list of the current state laws that include both sexting and pornography. As a parent, we want to protect our teenagers as best as we can. Education and monitoring are key to help someone avoid becoming a victim to this malicious act. Offering monitoring solutions for families to use at home in addition to school that have remote access and alerts, like Net Nanny, is another tactic for blocking pornography. Keeping our children safe is the number one priority!