New York state moves closer to banning ‘revenge porn’

New York state moves closer to banning ‘revenge porn’

Credit: Unsplash.
Credit: Unsplash.

.- Lawmakers in New York have passed a bill to outlaw “revenge porn”— the non-consensual sharing of explicit images of a person, typically done by an ex-romantic partner.

The bill, passed by legislators last week, has the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign it into law, the Associated Press reports.

Forty-one states, the District of Columbia, and several cities and counties across the U.S. have already banned revenge porn.

Without an explicit ban on the practice, judges have turned down appeals to help victims of revenge porn, citing freedom of speech, The New York Times reports. Five years ago, when New York’s revenge porn ban was first introduced, only a handful of states had passed similar bans.

In addition to jail time for offenders, Senate bill 1719C would also allow victims to sue the person who had shared the revenge porn, and would make New York the first state in the nation to allow judges to order websites or social media platforms to take down the explicit photos or videos, according to NYT.

This provision has led to opposition to the bill from technology companies who worried that they could be held liable for revenge porn hosted on their sites. The final version of the bill includes broad immunity under federal law through the Communications Decency Act for websites where people might post the explicit images.

Nevertheless, the Internet Association, which includes large technology companies such as Google and Facebook, has spoken out against the bill in the past, including during June 2018 when the bill was up for debate.

Several states have moved to ban revenge porn in recent years. Former Gov. John  Kasich signed a revenge porn ban into law in Ohio in Dec. 2018 after a similar measure failed to pass in 2016.

Montana lawmakers introduced a bill to outlaw revenge porn in January 2019, after having failed to ban the practice in 2017. The law would provide for fines and possible jail time for those who publish or distribute any type of nude or sexualized photos or videos without the consent of the person depicted. The bill is currently in the Montana senate.

Tags: Pornography, Catholic News, New York, Revenge Porn