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New York Lawmakers Want To Ban ‘Revenge Porn’

By Sy Mukherjee  

"New York Lawmakers Want To Ban ‘Revenge Porn’"

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Two New York state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would criminalize “revenge porn” — the practice of publicly disclosing or publishing sexually explicit depictions of a person without their consent, usually by an angry ex.

If passed, the New York law would make revenge porn publishers guilty of a class A misdemeanor which may result in up to a year of prison time and a $30,000 fine.

“Disseminating sexually explicit images that were shared with an expectation of privacy can cause lasting damage to victims and should be a crime,” wrote bill sponsor Assemblyman Edward Braunstein in a statement. “Passage of this legislation would make it clear that New Yorkers will not allow this type of harassment to continue. With the proliferation of cell phones and social networking, this problem will only get worse if we do not take immediate action.”

Revenge porn has become an increasingly relevant battleground in the war against victim-blaming and cyber-bullying. Beyond jilted exes, the perpetrators of several recent high-profile rape cases shared pictures of their victims through social media services.

Only two states — New Jersey and California — have actually passed anti-revenge porn laws. Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed California’s bill into law earlier this week, although that legislation has come under criticism for being too lenient. The California law only punishes people who publish, without consent, pictures or video of the revenge porn victim that the perpetrator has recorded or photographed themselves. It does not extend to those who distribute sexually explicit photos that were shared with them by the revenge porn victim without the victim’s permission. New York’s law, on the other hand, holds both of those types of offenders liable.

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