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revenge porn

After activist Gina Martin campaigned for 'upskirting' to become illegal in England this year, Ireland looks set to follow suit.

According to the Journal, revenge porn is to be outlawed under new amendments to legislation which are expected to be approved by Cabinet.

Upskirting takes place when a person takes a photograph under the clothes of another without consent being granted. The changes in the legislation will also provide for a separate offence to punish those involved in this image-based crime.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When upskirting in the UK was officially criminalised this February, Gina Martin posted;

"18 months ago a man stuck his hand between my legs and took photos of my crotch without my consent. 18 months ago I decided I wasn't going to brush sexual assault off anymore. 18 months ago I discovered it wasn't sexual offence and decided I was going to try and change the law for all of us." 

Now, it's Ireland's turn. The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill, which provides for a six-month prison sentence when a person is convicted, was put forward back in 2017 and is based on a Law Reform Commission report.

The report recommends the outlawing of two kinds of incidents: one which forbids the posting online of explicit images without consent, the other which will prevent secretly filming or photographing people in a sexualised manner without consent, i.e. ‘upskirting’ and ‘down-blousing’.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan will seek government approval today to draft amendments to the Bill.

'Revenge porn' laws in Ireland mark us out as regressive and archaic, and Labour leader Brendan Howlin agrees. 

Howlin has previously said one of the aspects of the digital age is the increase in occasions where private images taken while in an intimate relationship are posted online following a break-up.

“They use images gathered during that relationship to harm their former partner by posting intimate, lewd images that were meant for an intimate couple online. It is totally unacceptable,” he said. New Zealand, Australia and now the UK have laws ahead of ours.

The legislative move comes just a few months after gardaí were informed by more than two women that their explicit photographs have been posted online without their consent. 

The forum on Reddit which displayed nude and clothed images of Irish women, called 'Irish Sluts', shared without their consent was later shut down

Harassment offences will now include any form of communication, including digital and online comments about another person.

Social media and technology laws are in dire need of modernising, and existing regulation must be brought up to date regarding activities on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram messenger and Whatsapp.

Image credit: theconversation.com

The existing offence of sending threatening or indecent messages will now expand to include all obscene messages using any form of digital communication.

The specific offence of stalking (in the 1997 Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act) will also be referred to under the new laws.

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel will start drafting the government amendments to the Bill in order for it to advance to Committee Stage in the Dáil soon.

We, for one, are absolutely delighted. It's been a long time coming.

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So, despite the introduction of strict rules and regulations around the topic of 'revenge porn', it remains an ongoing issue for many women and men alike. 

We all know the potential risks that come along with sending a racy photograph or risqué message. While it may seem like the right thing to do in the moment, we can often live to regret those decisions once a relationship has come to an end.

Having said that, studies suggest that one in five adult phone users have engaged in the act of 'sexting', so we might as well learn to do it safely.

Well, one women has come up with a fool-proof way to protect your intimate photos from ever being released by an ex.

Annika Simons from Phoenix, Arizona took to Facebook to share her simple yet effective idea.  

“THIS IS A PERFECT IDEA OMG”, one user replied.

Another wrote, “That is actually genius.”

Annika's advice is actually hugely significant when you consider that the offence of leaking explicit images of someone without their consent carries a sentence of up to 12 months and a fine of €5,000 under Irish law.

The topic has been widely discussed over the last few years, with many calling for stricter regulations to be put in place.

In reality, the effects that leaked photos can have on victim’s mental health can be hugely distressing.

So, have some fun, but remember to be safe, be sensible and consider the risks. 

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Revenge porn is a relatively new concept thanks to the extensive growth of the internet and social media, but it reinforces old, tired stereotypes.

Stereotypes that women who engage in sexual behaviour are bad, dirty, slutty, and that their sexual exploits can be used to condemn and publicly humiliate them on the most extensive and uncontrollable platform. 

Revenge porn is when someone shares sexually explicit images or videos of another person without their consent, with the aim of causing them distress or harm.

Once an image gets uploaded online, there's a slim chance of getting it removed before someone sees it and shares it. 

As much as we hate to bring it up again, we all remember the infamous Slane Girl case. 

Photos and a video of the young woman performing a sex act at an Eminem concert exploded onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and just about any other social media site you can think of. 

Comments under the posts branded her a "whore," a "slut," and encouraged her to end her own life, and seemed to revel in the demise of the reputation of this anonymous young woman, who is seen being groped, pushed and jeered at by up to eight young men in the video. 

The problem with revenge porn is that it is not so anonymous.

Bitter ex-partners can pose online as the victim, saying explicit things and encouraging others to share the video, leading to friends, parents and co-workers seeing it. 

Depending on how heinous the culprit feels like being, there have even been cases where they have invited strangers to the victim's address to engage in sex acts, unbeknownst to the victim. 

Online images are impossible to control, and victims of revenge porn have found that, once their ex-significant other or sexual partner has uploaded their video to one porn site, the image then crops up on all of them, spreading at a speed that only the internet has coined a term for, virally. 

Mischa Barton is the most recent celebrity to be affected by the phenomenon, as the star has been forced to defend herself after reports of a revenge porn tape have emerged. 

"My absolute worst fear was realised when I learned that someone I thought I loved and trusted was filming my most intimate and private moments, without my consent, with hidden cameras," she said. 

A loophole in Irish law has meant that revenge porn is legal in this country, but luckily time is running out for those who may wish to engage in this abhorrent behaviour. 

Last year, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald received approval to draft the Non-Fatal Offences(Amendment) Bill, which will make it a criminal offence to post intimate images online without the person's consent.

"Phenomena such as so-called revenge pornography and the publication of voyeuristic material can do serious and lasting damage at the touch of a button and it is important that we act now to ensure our laws can deal effectively with these challenges,” said the Minister. 

The recommended punishment for publishing revenge porn is a maximum fine of €5000 and 12 months imprisonment.

While this fine may seem measly compared to the years of psychological and reputational damage the victim has to endure, at least it is something. 

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With the birth of social media came an upsurge in the circulation of intimate images sent by ex partners in the aftermath of a break up.

Revenge porn, as it is more commonly known, has hit the headlines countless times over recent years, and the Labour Party are seeking to include it in a bill focussing on cyber-bullying.

According to emerging reports, the new bill would see the criminalisation of revenge porn, with those convicted liable to face a six-month prison sentence.

Commenting on the move, Labour leader, Brendan Howlin, reinforces the importance of protecting those who choose to join the online community.

"The advent of technology means we’re now living in a very different communications climate, and Ireland’s harassment current laws don’t reflect that."

"Our Bill seeks to bring existing regulation up to date by broadening the legal definition of communication, so it covers all electronic, written and spoken word, including for example, an iMessage, Whatsapp or Facebook message, and a tweet or social media post," he added.

The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill will be debated in the Dáil this evening.

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Police in Denmark have charged 1,004 people for sharing multiple videos of underage teenagers engaging in sexual inter course.

The teens in the video are 15 years of age. 

The videos were shared to Facebook, after which the social media site tipped off authorities. 

Around 800 males and 200 females have been charged, ages between 15 and 20.

Danish authorities claim that the sharing of the film could fall under the distribution of child pornography.

The clips were mostly shared via the Facebook messenger app.

Some are reported to have shared the clips hundreds of times. 

'It's a very big and complex matter that has taken a long time to investigate,' said police inspector Lau Thygesen from North Zealand Police in a press statement to Mashable.

'Not least because of the large number of charged.'

'We have taken the case very seriously as it has major implications for those involved when such material is spread. And it must be stopped.'

This is the biggest case of it's kind to have occurred in Denmark. 

The country is taking a strong stance against the sharing of illegal footage, including revenge pornography. 

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Sending saucy snaps can be an exciting (albeit risky) way to enhance a relationship with someone you trust.

However, a new study has shown that young women are under intense pressure to engage sexually online through the production and sharing of nude or sexual images. 

The study found that many women face 'bombardment' from single or multiple individuals who badger them to send explicit images. 

The study was conducted using the real life stories of young women and teenagers from A Thin Line, a website committed to dealing with online and digital abuse. 

'I've been asked multiple times by my boyfriends and guy friends to send a nude pic,' one participant said. 

'Every time I decline, I either get harassed for it, insulted, or they just flat out ignore or break up with me. I guess keeping your morals makes you a bad person?'

In many of the women's stories to the study, requests for nude images escalated into threats, anger and violence when images were denied. 

79pc of women who refused to send naked pictures faced abuse, were broken up with, or dealt with some form of 'consequence' for saying no. 

Other women reported being sent unsolicited nude images which would then be used as leverage to request nudes in return. 

Four women of the 37 reported having pictures and videos taken of them without their consent. 

'I was dating this guy and one night we went to a party an he put something in my soda and got some naked photos of me an sent them to everybody in my school'(sic) one girl wrote, describing a time when she was drugged and photographed against her will. 

One 14-year-old girl reported being blackmailed by her partner for 'nastier' images – otherwise he would share the ones she had already sent him online as revenge porn.   

Overall, the study found that women report feeling 'overwhelmed, confused, tired, bombarded and trapped' by the online coercion. 

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In a rather unorthodox new method aimed at combating the issue of revenge porn, Facebook has asked it's Australian users to upload their own explicit photographs.

And while this might sound dodgy AF – it actually makes a lot of sense.

The technology has been designed for people who may be concerned that an ex-partner might post their intimate images to Facebook, Instagram or Messenger after the relationship has ended. 

According to The Guardian, it works by converting the privately uploaded images into a “digital fingerprint,” which can then be used to block any attempt to re-upload the same photograph.

The system has been launched in partnership with an Australian government agency headed up by the e-safety commissioner, Julia Inman Grant.

Speaking to ABC, she said: “We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly.”

The pilot scheme, which is currently being rolled out on a trail basis, will see users complete an online form on the e-safety commissioner's website.

After the concern has been formally submitted, Facebook will be notified and a community operations analyst will put measures in place to prevent any re-appearance of the image. 

Facebook will then store these images for a short period of time before deleting them to ensure it is enforcing the policy correctly.

Australia is one of four countries participating in this test trial, however a spokeswoman for the social media company said it plans to explore additional partners and countries.

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Blac Chyna has revealed she was 'devastated' after Rob Kardashian published intimate photos of her online without permission.

Speaking for the first time since the incident, the model said, “I’m like, how could somebody, like, post these pictures of me? And I’m like ‘Wow, okay.’ 

During the interview on Good Morning America, she revealed how she felt after her former fiancé betrayed her trust.

“This is a person that I trusted. I confided. I felt comfortable, you know, with even sending these pictures and even talking to him about certain things, you know, ” as reported by The Independent.

Rob, known for his appearances on the reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, shared a number of nude photographs and intimate texts on his Instagram page.

He even continued to re-share them numerous times after Instagram took them down.

The offending images have since been deleted.

Revenge porn has been illegal in the state of California since 2013, meaning Rob could face criminal charges.

The former couple became engaged in April 2016 and have a seven-month-old daughter together.

Chyna revealed how Rob had been very sweet and caring at the beginning of their relationship.

“I felt as though he just really needed, you know, help without somebody pointing their finger. ‘Cause I know how that could be,” 

“And I felt like I was that friend that never, like, asked questions or judged him. And I was just always there for him. And that’s what kinda, like, attracted me. We just had good times together. 

Meanwhile Chyna has enlisted the help of lawyer, Lisa Bloom, to obtain a temporary restraining order against the Kardashian.

Lisa Bloom successfully represented Mischa Barton during her recent civil suit against an ex who had threatened to release intimate photographs of her.

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Yesterday evening, Rob Kardashian took to Instagram to publish nude images of his partner Blac Chyna for his 9.2 million followers to see. 

The explicit images were posted as Rob's revenge after he discovered that she had allegedly been cheating on him. 

It is revenge porn by its very definition, and American law experts say that Rob could have broken the California Law against the act. 

Two anonymous law officials spoke to The Huffington Post, and said that Rob showed 'the intent to cause serious emotional distress' against Blac Chyna by posting the pictures.

'This is sort of the classic, quintessential revenge porn,'  Carrie Goldberg, attorney and founder of Internet abuse and sexual consent firm C. A. Goldberg, PLLC told People

'Rob has made the work of a prosecutor or a victim's attorney quite easy so far as to even post about the very motive behind his outrageous act of posting these private and nude photos of his ex.'

'The allegation of infidelity does not give someone the right to seek revenge in such a devastating way.'

Instagram quickly removed the images and disabled Rob's account so that he could no longer post. 

He then switched social media platforms, going to Twitter, where he re-uploaded the images again as a series of tweets. 

Revenge porn was made a crime under the California Penal Code in 2013. 

The law states that private images should remain private and not be distributed. 

SHEmazing will not be publishing the images as we are against revenge porn on all levels.

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Mischa Barton has claimed victory over an ex boyfriend who attempted to release illicit footage of the actress.

It's reported that The OC star reached a deal in court preventing Jon Zacharias from releasing any explicit videos or images made during their relationship, which according to Mischa, were taken without her consent. 

Speaking outside the court, Mischa said,  "Today was major not just for me, but for women everywhere who get to decide what images of their body are shown and hopefully stand up to bullying by men in situations like this."Jon Zacharias must now hand over all offending materials. 

Earlier this year, Mischa took out two temporary restraining orders against him and another ex boyfriend, Adam Shaw, who is believed to be a friend of Jon's.

The actress claims the pair had been trying to sell a sex tape of her to online porn websites for up to $500,000.

Following the victory, Mischa's lawyer, Lisa Bloom, tweeted in celebration. 

“Distribution of the explicit images banned, ex stays 100 yards away forever,” she wrote.  

In a statement, Ms Bloom said: “I am proud to declare victory for Mischa. She did this not just for herself, but for all women and girls. Mischa wants everyone to know that we have the right to control our own bodies and decide whether or not to have explicit photos out there for the world to see.

"If a woman wants to do that, fine. If she doesn’t, fine. The choice is hers and hers alone.”  

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Last week, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, informed her party that she is making it a criminal offence to photograph or film up a woman’s skirt without her express consent.

According to The Irish Times, the move will coincide with the expansion of the definition of ‘revenge porn’ and seeks to deal more effectively with an act known as ‘upskirting’ in addition to the publication of voyeuristic material.

Commenting on the legislative change, an Tánaiste said: “It is important that we ensure our laws can deal effectively with phenomena such as so-called revenge pornography and the publication of voyeuristic material without consent, as recommended by the Law Reform Commission’s report.”

The new legislation will also see the creation of other criminal offences which ‘fall short of the intentional and egregious activity covered by the first offence, and covers the non-consensual taking and distribution of intimate images by any means of communication where this causes harm to that person but without any necessary intent to cause harm.’

The move comes after a report published last September highlighted shortcomings within Irish legislation to protect against revenge porn.

It is understood that the new and extended offences will carry the maximum penalties of a class A fine – currently a fine not exceeding €5,000, and/or up to 12 months’ imprisonment –  and on conviction on indictment an unlimited fine and/or up to seven years’ imprisonment.

Reinforcing the importance of the new legislation, Ms Fitzgerald said: “These acts can cause serious and lasting harm, particularly to young people.”

The final Bill is due to be published shortly.

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Facebook have announced new measures aimed at preventing the posting of revenge porn to the site.

The new feature, available since yesterday, allows the user to report any intimate image which may have been shared without consent.

The image will then be reviewed by specially trained representatives from the network's Community Operations team.

If the image is deemed inappropriate it will be blocked across Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

The offending account may also be disabled.

The company have said the move is part of an ongoing effort to “help build a safe community on and off Facebook”.

According to RTÉ.ie, the social network site will also use photo-matching technologies in a bid to ward off any further attempts to share the image.

The new feature does not apply to Whatsapp yet, but Facebook have said it is working with their partners to extend the technology to the messaging app. 

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