Cannella Backs Bill to Criminalize “Revenge Porn”

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A vengeful social media act known as “revenge porn” could soon become a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine of $1,000.

When you think of porn, usually you think of websites like pornhub.vom which distribute explicit videos of sexual acts. However, revenge porn is very different in nature and often uploaded to social media or private chatrooms. Revenge porn is created when an angry, revenge-fueled ex of a former partner, spouse or boy/ girl friend posts or sells illicit photos or videos of their ex online, or distributes them through other forms of social media such as texting. The intent of revenge porn is to humiliate or cause emotional distress to the victim. This differs from consensual porn where all parties involved have consented to the act of filming. Even if you take a look at hardcore videos or at more intimate moments online, often all participants are aware of the full intent of the recording.

The bill (Senate Bill 255) is sponsored by State Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres).

“People who post or text pictures that are meant to be private as a way to seek revenge are reprehensible. Right now, there is no tool for law enforcement to protect the victims,” said Cannella in a press release. “Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted. This is a common sense bill that clamps down on those who exploit intimacy and trust for revenge or personal gain.”

Critics of the bill say that it may be difficult to prove in court that a revenge porn image posted online caused the victim emotional distress, and that the bill could infringe on freedom of speech.

The bill unanimously passed committee Tuesday and is expected to fly through the Senate.

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