Revenge porn laws considered in Maryland

As our technology increases and new social trends emerge, it’s important that our laws evolve to match them. The internet, for example, has led to a rise in an enormous amount of common new behaviors, from buying and selling products to the use of social media. Sex crimes, such as online solicitation and the possession of child pornography, have also become possible through the use of the internet. It’s important, then, that our laws continue to change to ensure that those who violate the law receive a punishment that is just and fair.

Unfortunately, it’s a common criticism that our laws are slow to catch up with new trends. Take, for instance, the new internet phenomenon of “revenge pornography.”

“Revenge porn” is the name given to sexually explicit images that former lovers upload to the internet after a breakup. The victims are often women whose images are placed online by jilted boyfriends. Generally, these pictures were taken and sent during the course of the relationship; after that relationship ends, the pictures can end up online.

Once the image is online, it can be very difficult for people to have the images removed, and the embarrassment can be substantial. However, lawmakers are split on how best to address the practice of revenge porn.

California and New Jersey are the only states to pass laws against the practice. Three other states, including Maryland, are considering legislation. In many cases, lawmakers’ efforts are held up by civil liberties organizations, who claim outlawing the practice is a violation of first amendment rights.

 

Source: 
WXIX-TV, “FOX19 Investigates: Revenge Porn” No Author Given, Nov. 15, 2013