New York City Moves to Crack Down on Revenge Porn

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Posting revenge porn could be punishable by up to a year in jail.Photo: ezza116/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Revenge porn, or posting sexually explicit images online without the subject’s permission, is notoriously difficult to prosecute. But specific laws governing it are cropping up in states across the country, and on Wednesday, New York City legislators are slated to introduce a bill to City Council that would make posting revenge porn a criminal offense.

According to a spokesperson for Councilmember Rory Lancman, who co-sponsored the bill, it would make “leaking intimate images of people without their consent” a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. It would apply to photos and videos posted online or texted or emailed to other people with the intent of causing emotional or economic harm.

Secretly recording sexually explicit images or videos is illegal under New York State law, but the law doesn’t apply if someone willingly sends images that are later posted without their consent.

“Leaking naked pictures of someone without their permission is despicable, but our laws haven’t caught up with technology to make ‘revenge porn’ a crime,” Lancman told the New York Daily News. Councilmember Dan Garodnick, the bill’s other co-sponsor, added that victims of revenge porn suffer in every aspect of their lives. “This legislation takes a stand against this disgusting violation of privacy and sends a strong message that this behavior is unacceptable in New York City,” he said.