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Sunday, February 23, 2014

HB326: Revenge Porn Patroned by Delegate Rob Bell. Today the Proposal is a Misdemeanor, But in 2015 or 2016, Will it Become a Felony and a Lifetime on the Virginia Public Sex Offender Registry? That’s My Prediction.

 
Update: 

Attorney: Va. 'revenge porn' bill makes bad manners a crime, March 1, 2014

 
Original Post:

HB326- Unlawful dissemination or sale of images of another. A.K.A. - Revenge Porn will be heard by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee tomorrow Monday February 24, 2014. 

Revenge Porn is images or videos usually taken by or distributed by the person in the image(s) in a sexual situation, partially nude or fully nude. But it can also be hacked or stolen. Then it is posted on-line or distributed to others through email or text without the permission of the person depicted. 

My opinion on this issue:
1.      If the images are hacked or stolen a crime has occurred and some sort of charges should be applied.
2.     If the images were taken without the person in the image knowing about it then a crime has occurred.
3.     If someone is extorting money from the person in the image, then a crime has occurred.
4.     If personal information of the person in the image like full name, address, phone numbers, email addresses, place of employment or school are posted with the photos to create situations of sexual propositions, harassment and stalking, then a crime has occurred.
5.     Websites that specialize in revenge porn soliciting men to take and send in images specifically to humiliate those pictured in the image should be made illegal and shutdown by the government.
6.     If the images were distributed by the person pictured in them and they wind up posted on Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, etc or in other peoples in-boxes the person in the image needs to take responsibility for sending the images out into the world.
      
    Once someone has shared an image with another person it is no longer theirs to manage. They can not control where the image winds up or who has possession of it. Not days, weeks, months, years or decades later. As the taker/sender it is now out in the universe and wherever it turns up is a gamble. But instead regret sets in they taker/sender of a sexual image  needs to take responsibility for their own actions and that includes dealing with regret and the inevitable repercussions. But criminal or civil charges against other people is not a solution to a mistake they made, they need to own the consequences of their actions.

HB326 starts off with wording like intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate which I agree with. But then HB326’s verbiage goes on to use maliciously disseminates, so in other words posts or shares without the permission of the person in the image. 

While I am not opposing HB326 or a version (HB49) that was rolled into it, I do have great concerns with it.