Pornography

Best of 2014: Revenge Porn is Bad. But Should it be Illegal?

|

Romantic break-ups can be hard but being the victim of revenge porn is even harder. Revenge porn is defined as the dissemination of sexually explicit images of an ex-lover without their permission. This often has long-lasting effects on the victim's reputation and employability.  This past year many states, including Virginia, have sought to help the victims by making revenge porn a crime. But are these criminal laws actually tramplling free speech?

NEXT: Baylen Linnekin: Last (and Next) Year in Food Policy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Definitely the perp should not gain from embarrassing another.

  2. Yes! Yes! We need more ham-fisted, draconian laws to protect young women with bad judgement from the consequences of their actions! Why are you even questioning this, you rapist?

    1. You fucked up! You trusted me!

      No seriously, should con-artistry be legal because the victim was stupid enough to get conned?

      I would say that there is an implicit contract not to publicly disseminate such images, in any relationship, and that contract is being violated. It seems perfectly reasonable to say that a person has some rights over images taken of them in a private setting that they had to explicitly agree to be taken in the first place. Nevermind there’s a high probablility the couple had some sort of conversation at some point where the man pretty much explicitly agrees he’s not going to put those vids on the internet.

  3. Before we even get to revenge-porn laws, let’s talk copyright. Who even owns the rights to these, ah, images?

    And in any context, not just revenge porn, if someone in a private place consents to be photographed, we need to ask about any implicit conditions – like not making the photo available to the public – attached to this consent.

    1. Who even owns the rights to these, ah, images?

      Facebook, duh.

    2. Agree.

      These protections already exist for celebrity photographs. If you take a photo of a celebrity, even if you own the copyright, you can’t do anything you want with it.

      It’s not an unreasonable leap to extend those protections to private citizens.

  4. What constitutes “porn”? Nudity is not porn. Wide open beaver (thanks for popularizing that term Kurt Vonnegut) is not porn in my view.

    Poor little feelings get hurt. BFD. Grow up chicks.

  5. 1) If you can’t bear the thought of someone you don’t know looking at yer nekkid bod, DO NOT TAKE nekkid pics. Digital pics are too damn easy to disseminate once they exist. 2) No way no how are any legislators any where going to be able to write a law that only “gets” who they say it will get and only them and doesn’t trample the First. 3) Any laws like this will end up in a prosecutor’s goody bag of overcharging discretionary tools and surprise, surprise be used against people who weren’t doing anything remotely like what the “good intentioned” thought the law prohibited.

  6. Revenge porn is defined as the dissemination of sexually explicit images of an ex-lover without their permission. This often has long-lasting effects on the victim’s reputation and employability.

    Revenge embarrassment is defined as the dissemination of goofy images of an ex-lover without their permission. This often has long-lasting effects on the victim’s reputation and employability.

    “There ought to be a law!”

  7. 1. If you own the pic, without any prior agreement…fuck off.
    2. If the pic was taken with consent, without any prior agreement…fuck off.
    3. If the pic was sent to you, without any prior agreement…fuck off.

    The ONLY times this should be “illegal” is if:

    a. The pic was taken without consent.
    b. There was an agreement NOT to distribute.

    And it could be debated whether it should be a criminal or civil matter. I can make a good argument for both sides.

    But ya know the best way to ensure your nekkid pics don’t become public? Don’t allow nekkid pics of yourself.

    1. it’s a bit ironic that the same mentality that brought us sexting is now getting the vapors over this.

    2. yeah, exactly.

      Also, I can see a lot of this = “It was her idea, your honor”

    3. The ONLY times this should be “illegal” is if:

      a. The pic was taken without consent.
      b. There was an agreement NOT to distribute.

      What kind of agreement do you want? In writing? When is there ever not an implicit agreement not to distribute naked pics of your girlfriend?

      1. Any agreement, from a libertarian (moral) standpoint. If you think there’s a good chance you’ll need to prove it in court…get it in writing.

        I’m not big on implicit agreements. We are all individuals and I’m not a mind reader.

  8. my classmate’s ex-wife makes $81 /hour on the computer . She has been unemployed for eight months but last month her pay check was $18269 just working on the computer for a few hours. check…………..
    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  9. I’m still iffy on the premise.

    Revenge = I personally think its not by itself a bad thing. Klingons have nice things to say about it? It presumes there was an initial injustice committed for which our hero is going to get some sweet, sweet retribution by some act of vigilante badassery. Anything involving Bronson can’t be all bad!?

    Porn = Its in the eye of the beholder if you ask me, and a label thrown around far too often. One person’s tasty smut is another person’s National Geographic special on Pandas. I’ve seen some of these amateur efforts and frankly they’re depressing; a little ‘storyline’, ‘explosions’ could vastly improve the overall production value.

    Put them together? I fail to see the necessary problem. Also, I *loved* Commando, which would probably only be made better with porn.

    1. People also take revenge for things they don’t really have a right to get revenge for.

      Like, my girlfriend doesn’t want to be my girlfriend anymore.

  10. People behaving badly is not new. The means through which they do so change over time but, to a degree, this sort of thing has always happened.

  11. Revenge Porn is bad

    Lost me right there.

  12. 90% of the time in any sexual relationship, before naked pics and videos are taken, there is some sort of conversation where the guy explicitly says he’s not going to publicly distribute the pics or videos. It’s not a signed contract, but it almost always happens. I would bet anything in most of the porn being uploaded to these sites, such a conversation happened, and that agreement is being violated.

    Even when there is not, there is an implicit understanding that publicly distributing such pics is not a gentlemanly thing to do. Nobody sends naked pics to their boyfriend with the understanding that they *might* upload them to a porn site. The understanding is that the WILL NOT, under any circumstances, do any such thing.

    Personally, I think it is perfectly fair to treat these things as if the person the pics or videos are of has copyright protection, when they are taken in private as part of an intimate relationship.

    1. “some sort of conversation where the guy explicitly says he’s not going to publicly distribute the pics or videos”

      I don’t mean to belabor this, but…

      – It was her idea, your honor.

      also = ‘revenge’. women.

      dwell on this koan.

      1. So the woman gets revenge by NOT letting the man distribute naked pics?
        Huh? What kind of revenge is that?

        1. No, silly.

          You assume “the guy” is the one more likely to use things from past relationship in petty vindictive way.

          lol

  13. Where do libertarians stand on extortion? If the ex-boyfriend demanded cash or sex to not post the pictures would this violate a law in Libertopia? The pictures were taken with consent and/or sent to the boyfriend with no prior agreement not to disseminate.

    In a similar vein, what about extortion regarding employment? Let’s say an employee is under contract with a fire at will clause. The owner finds out that his employee’s child is in the hospital and has racked up a significant debt. The owner uses this leverage, his employee desperately needing to maintain employment, to demand that she have sex with him or he will fire her. She will not only lose her job but also her health insurance.

    I assume that although these actions are morally reprehensible they would be legally acceptable. I will also assume that blackmail would also be legal.

    1. “blitz|1.3.15 @ 1:30PM|#

      Where do libertarians stand on extortion?”

      It wasn’t me and she looked 18

    2. If you really want to know.

      Defending the Undefendable

  14. my friend’s sister-in-law makes $77 /hr on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her pay was $19730 just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to this website…………
    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  15. Interesting.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.