Can you believe Revenge Porn is legal?

thumbs down monitorRevenge Porn: It’s Legal, Even Though it Should Not Be
With the constant development and ubiquity of technology, it is becoming more and more common to use technology in artful ways. One such use of technology that has currently caused a great deal of public outcry and outrage, especially by victims, is technology as a means to defame an individual via revenge porn. Most revenge porn is characterized by a set of photographs or a video that is uploaded online in either one or many revenge porn websites. While it is illegal for the individual who took the video or photograph to upload the compromising images, it is completely legal for someone else to do so.

Why is it Legal?
One of the main reasons that such terrible and slanderous actions remain legal is the right to free speech. The government does not have the right to ban something simply because members within the society disagree with it. Therefore, the distribution of revenge porn, while distasteful and offensive, remains completely legal. A second reason for its legality is that the release of revenge porn does is not categorized as harassment. When an individual posts revenge porn online, the typical information that accompanies the photographs is a name and perhaps an address. In many cases, while the victim may find him or herself harassed by a number of individuals, such harassment does not qualify as criminal behavior.

The Victims
According to the ABA Law Journal, it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of victims of revenge porn are female. Hundreds of individuals suffer through their identities, sexuality, and personal information being compromised online. Typically, it is very difficult for victims to remove themselves from the stigma that their online images create, as their high visibility on search engines are difficult to reduce. Apart from attempting to press charges, victims usually have the option to remove the scandalous information from websites, but usually at a cost. For example, a popular revenge porn website known as “Texxxan,” agrees to remove videos or photos at an exorbitant fee. Such sites are also becoming very cunning, as they have been known to advertise fake lawyer services on their websites that can help take down the photographs, also for an outrageous fee. Thus, not only are victims victimized through what is uploaded about them online, but they are further taken advantage of through takedown fees and purported legal services that truly do not exist.

The Websites
One creator named Hunter Moore, of the very famous revenge porn website Is Anyone Up, has interjected his own beliefs regarding the issue. His website’s own tagline, is “Pure Evil,” and in a recent interview with Village Journal he was quoted saying, “At the end of the day, people just want to see their friends f**** naked.” Clearly, Moore himself lacks any remorse for his actions. Currently, aside from attempting to build another website targeted at social media, he is continuing to plaster images of disabled individuals, American military members, school teachers, mothers, and individuals that are famous through the media. Despite the searing cost that his website has on hundreds of individuals, he maintains that the effects of the uploaded revenge porn diminish after a day. However, according to the hundreds of victims, such effects fail to falter, but become even more and more serious as time goes on. Victims oftentimes find themselves without work, social support, continuously threatened, and ostracized within a society that ought to be there to support them.

Overall
Revenge porn, based upon the lasting effect upon victims and the degeneration it cause within a society, should be illegal. As the facts have provided, it is extremely difficult to prosecute an individual for uploading revenge porn due to free speech and the inability to characterize such actions as illegal harassment. However, there are currently many victims that are continuing to fight back. A few popular sites have sprung up, which inform visitors and request their help in signing petitions that would require government action. Unfortunately, thus far, there has not been much headway regarding the issue, as while there are many sites that have been pulled down, dozens more continue to spring up every day. This leads to the continuation of a legal movement, which should be strictly illegal.

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