Cyber Revenge (or revenge porn) is the despicable act where a scorned ex-lover posts pics of their ex’s private, provocative and/or nude pictures online, without the victim’s consent, as way to harass or seek revenge against their ex-partner.
Even though a legislative bill that would make cyber revenge a crime was voted down recently in Florida, last Tuesday several lawmakers signed on to a new bill, as co-authors, to make it a crime in California — calling it Senate Bill 255.
The bill was inspired, in part, by a 15-year-old Northern California girl who killed herself after three boys allegedly took pictures of themselves sexually assaulting her while she was passed out at a party, then posting those images online. Eight days later, Audrie Potts hanged herself.
Three teenage boys were arrested in April in connection with the case.
There are certain websites out there that will post these pics and charge absurd amounts to take the pictures down. A conviction of distributing “revenge porn” – a misdemeanor – would be punishable by up to one year in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
“As we shine a greater light on this program, more people understand laws need to be changed to keep up with this technology,” spokesman Jeff Macadeo said. “Technology has moved quicker and we’re playing catch up.”
If it passes through California State Legislature and is signed by the Governor, it would become a new law immediately and would give law enforcement what they need to crack down on offenders.
According to Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) author of the bill, cyber revenge typically happens after a bitter break-up.
“People who post or text pictures that are meant to be private as a way to seek revenge are reprehensible,” Cannella said in a statement. “Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted.”