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Are Facebook’s Anti-Revenge/Nonconsensual Porn Measures Enough to Protect Women? - We Rise Legal

Are Facebook’s Anti-Revenge/Nonconsensual Porn Measures Enough to Protect Women?

Have you ever had an ex or current partner share an intimate photo of you? Perhaps you snapped a suggestive or sexual photo that was meant for their eyes only…only to have them violate your trust by sharing the photo or posting it publicly online. It is a stomach-dropping experience that often leads to feelings of embarrassment, shame, and disgust. Most victims blame themselves for even taking the photo or video in the first place. The practice of sharing intimate photos without the subject’s permission is called revenge porn, and it is an abhorrent practice that we seek to punish and eradicate every day.

 

Considering that the most popular way to share photos is through social media, Facebook has instituted policies aimed at protecting victims of revenge porn. In order for content to be classified as revenge porn per Facebook’s criteria, it must 1) be a non-commercial image that was created in a private setting, 2) depict a person who is nude, nearly nude, performing a sex act, or in a sexual pose, and 3) have been shared without the subject’s consent. Report links are built in to every Facebook post, so if you discover that you are the victim of a revenge porn post you can report it quickly and easily. It is clear that Facebook does not condone posting revenge porn on their platform, but do these measures do enough to protect women?

 

In our opinion, no. 

 

The best thing we can do to protect women who are victims of revenge porn is to ensure that their images never make it to the public Internet at all. Once an intimate photo or video has been shared, the bell cannot be unrung. There are real-world implications surrounding the publishing of intimate content. Revenge porn victims can lose scholarships, job opportunities, and respect. A reputation is a valuable but unquantifiable thing. Every time revenge porn is made public, reputations are shattered. Facebook does not reliably take proactive steps to ensure that revenge porn never gets posted. Instead, they choose to focus on patching holes in a leaky boat. It is both insufficient and ineffective. We hope to see more aggressive steps from the social media giant in the future. 

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