Revenge porn victims have a new way to get help online

CA's Attorney General unveiled the #EndCyberExploitation campaign.

 

Catherine Scott

IRL

Published Oct 15, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 7:26 pm CDT

California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Wednesday the launch of an online resource hub and awareness campaign aimed at fighting revenge porn. And she’s encouraging people to use the hashtag #EndCyberExploitation to spread the word.

The campaign is the culmination of a task force convened in February 2015, which saw 50 major tech companies, victim advocates, legislators, and law enforcement officials come together to develop best practices on combating cyber exploitation.

Last year, California was the first out of the 27 U.S. states that have specific laws against revenge porn to successfully convict someone of sharing explicit images without consent. Harris helped to secure the criminal prosecution of Keven Bollaert, who ran UGotPosted, a website solely devoted to nonconsensual uploads of explicit pictures. (However, it is worth noting that Bollaert was convicted on theft and extortion, not on the grounds of violating California Penal Code sections 647(j)(4)(A) and 647(j)(4)(B), which specifically deal with the distribution of explicit images for the purposes of causing distress.)

California’s new resource hub includes tools for law enforcement, information on how to report or file a takedown request with different websites, and guidelines on best practices for the technology industry, which they hope will lead to more successful convictions.

The Attorney General’s website states, “posting intimate images online without consent undermines privacy, basic civil rights, and public safety,” and adds that it is a form of violence disproportionately suffered by women, who constitute 90 percent of all revenge porn victims. In her speech Wednesday, Kamala Harris also took the opportunity to reject the term “revenge porn,” Recode reports, calling the phrase “at best inaccurate, and certainly misleading.” Harris also pointed out that the victims “are not engaged in pornography and there is no behavior they have been engaged in that deserves revenge.”

Microsoft and Facebook released statements of support for the initiative, with Microsoft adding that it has a new reporting site for users of Bing, OneDrive and Xbox. 

Tech giants have made various pushes to empower victims of revenge porn. This summer, Google promised to remove non-consensual images from search results. Even Pornhub, the largest porn site on the internet, released a new feature aimed at making it easier for victims to report non-consensual images on its site. Twitter banned revenge porn in March.

With all these titans of tech taking a clear stand against revenge porn, it seems would-be perpetrators need to find a new way to seek revenge.

H/T Recode | Photo via Robert Scoble / Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Rob Price

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*First Published: Oct 15, 2015, 3:29 pm CDT