Peers in the British Parliament have rejected proposals to make ‘revenge porn’ a criminal offence.

The proposals have been rejected, with a House of Lords committee stating that proposals for new laws are unnecessary.

As reported today by the BBC, a review of existing laws on social media crime has concluded that current legislation is already sufficient to deal with ‘revenge porn‘.

A call to create a new criminal offence of “revenge porn” was rejected by the House of Lords communications committee because it was covered by existing obscenity and harassment laws.

What exactly is Revenge porn?

Revenge porn is the intentional sexual humiliation of ex partners by posting intimate and naked photos/videos on-line. The jilted ex often writes malicious and damning remarks about the subject and provides their personal information to open them up to further abuse from website users.

“There is little point in criminalising certain behaviour and at the same time legitimately making that same behaviour impossible to detect,” the report says.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said, in a verbose way, that the government is: “…very open to having a serious discussion about this with a view to taking appropriate action in the autumn if we can identify the best way of doing so.”

The solution to revenge porn is a take down, and link removal

An article in The Guardian states : “A good remedy for the UK thus involves two steps : mandatory take down of images posted without consent from hosting sites in the UK, and, if take down is not obtainable because the host site is in the US and hiding behind a liability shield, a right to removal of the link from Google’s memory so a search on a name will not bring up as first result shocking pictures posted and hosted without consent.”

Parents and teachers
UK Parliament revenge porn laws
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The report says some social media sites, such as Facebook, require the use of real names but they do not take steps to confirm users’ identities. Others, such as Twitter, allow anonymity but challenge impersonation, while others allowed complete anonymity.

It says the operators of sites should establish the identity of users but then allow them to use pseudonyms or post messages anonymously if they wished – but in the meantime there were steps that could be taken to help victims of cyber-bullying and revenge porn.

The report says, as reported on BBC News:

  • Social media sites should respond quicker when police request information about alleged offenders
  • Web firms should develop their abuse monitoring and user protection systems
  • Parents and teachers should make children aware of what is acceptable online behaviour
  • Statistics on reported online offences should be improved

It also argues that the existing revenge porn guidelines for prosecutors in England and Wales could be improved.

www.change.org | www.banrevengeporn.com | @BanRevengePorn

Article image : Reuters / Eric Gaillard

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