Revenge Porn Is Just Not Cool

December 6, 2013
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I would venture a guess that a lot of people have taken the nude selfie and sent it to one we felt amorous or lustful towards. You may have made the mistake of including your face or other identifying marks in those pictures. You thought this would last forever and nothing bad would ever happen. Then… BAM, you have a nasty break up or a nasty falling out and those pictures you sent have now found their way onto the Internet for all to see. How embarrassing! You wouldn’t want your boss, colleagues or your family to see you in your all together. There should be a law against that! But should there?

revenge porn

Cathy Reisenwitz, over at Talking Point Memo, reports that a number of states are now considering legislation making revenge porn illegal. Not only that but this month Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a bill such as this into law. What are the implications of this? Does this type of law limit free speech? These are tough questions to answer. Sometimes, I believe that certain forms of speech should not be allowed. I’m mainly referring to hate speech. I then think about it and come to the conclusion that while allowing hate speech is abhorrent to me, according to our constitution it is protected under the First Amendment. In fact the Supreme Court upheld the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to protest funerals. In that case, I’ll draw a parallel to Spiderman… Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker that “With great power, comes great responsibility.” I know Stan Lee, creator of Spiderman, wasn’t referring specifically to the First Amendment but I think the comparison is correct. We as citizens of this country have this amazing power to say whatever the hell we feel like. A lot of countries in the world do not grant that right to its citizens. We take the right for granted constantly. You see it everywhere, especially on TV and especially from people like Michelle Bachmann.

Is revenge porn bad? Yes, of course it is. It’s a breaking of trust between two or more parties. Unless you’re an exhibitionist you probably don’t want the world to see your naughty bits. You also should probably not send people naked pictures of yourself, especially with your face in them but that’s a different story. Can we please be adults about this and say “Hey, I’m mad at you but listen, don’t worry about those photos you sent me, I’ll delete and I won’t post them online. That would be immature of me.” We don’t need to nor can we legislate stupidity. If more of these laws pass, your freedom to say whatever you like could be hindered and you wouldn’t want that but you’re an adult, you totally think before you speak.

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