Revenge Porn – A Reality of Our Times

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M and W fell in love. 2 weeks later M messages W to send in nudes. W resisted but M convinces her. Picture sent. Two months later they break up L. W somehow moves on. One day she is checking her Facebook profile and receives an inbox from M. Happily opens up the folder thinking he still wants to remain in touch. Gets Shocked. M shared the picture which she had sent him. Now he wants money else he will post the picture online. W gets scared and has nowhere to go. W becomes a victim of REVENGE PORN.

Sharing content (images, videos, morphed graphics) of Or referring to a person, without his/her consent is revenge porn. The cyber space today is witnessing a large amount of such cases where women largely are becoming the victims of revenge porn. Most of the cases which were reported saw the Jilted lovers, Or fuming exes as the perpetrators of such crimes.

While countries like US and Canada have stringent laws specifically against revenge porn, India still lags behind in taking stricter actions on such destructive crimes. We still have to fight it out with the violation of privacy act (Section 67A) which accounts for a maximum punishment of 5 years. As per records, the circulation of inappropriate online content has increased by 104% between 2012 to 2014.

We haven’t been able to overcome the practice of victim blaming yet where women for no fault of theirs have been subjected to serious emotional and mental torture. And then you look at revenge porn, where the society doesn’t leave a chance to blame the victim for sharing the pictures or indulging in any sexual activity in the first place.

We need to break the boundaries of humiliation, embarrassment and public shame while we get issues like revenge porn in discourse. While we are talking about online, we need to keep in mind that it takes minutes for any sort of content to go viral and hence it needs immediate reporting and attention by the platforms and the government. MWCD did plan to make changes in the laws against cyber-crimes but that has still to be witnessed. We are living a major part of our lives in the online spaces and hence, need more protection and security to keep the sanctity of virtual places intact.

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