New York lawmakers push to make ‘revenge porn’ a crime

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New York lawmakers want to follow in the footsteps of California and New Jersey legislators, pushing to make “revenge porn” a crime, punishable with jail time and fines.

Revenge porn is a growing issue on the internet, with people posting explicit images of their exes on various websites and social media. There are websites dedicated solely to these types of photos, where users can upload anonymously. Thousands of teens and women say their lives have been ruined when racy photos of themselves made it around the internet.

A group of New York Senators are introducing legislation that would make distributing explicit images of a person without their consent a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $1000.

“This so-called phenomena of ‘cyber-revenge,’ is a tawdry form of exploitation. From what we know, the majority of its victims are women who don’t know that their images and likenesses has been bartered and sold over the internet,” Senator Joseph A. Griffo said in a press release. “Criminalization is preferable to civil suits by victims because civil suits do not deter those who upload or disclose new images after a civil suit has ended.”

Hunter Moore, a revenge porn entrepreneur of sorts and founder of the now defunct Is Anyone Up, blasted the California law in a Youtube tirade, saying, “How about this? You take responsibility for your actions and stop pointing the finger at other people. Where did this start? How did your pictures end up on the internet, on a site, where everybody’s making fun of your busted [expletive]?”

The Youtube clip contains NSFW language.

Moore sold the Is Anyone Up to an anti-bullying website after a slew of lawsuits and an FBI investigation.

Currently, the law in California does not protect a person if they took the photo themselves and it was then shared without their consent. Lawmakers in New York are hoping to offer protection for victims, whether they took the photo themselves or not.