· 'Revenge Porn': A form of cyber-rape that involves the distribution of sexually explicit photos and/or videos of an individual (either real or photoshopped) on the Internet without permission. Revenge porn (i.e., involuntary porn) is usually posted by a scorned ex-lover or friend, in order to seek revenge after a relationship has gone sour.
· Revenge porn causes extreme emotional trauma. Victims of revenge porn are 'raped' over and over again. Each time they see a new site with the material up, they become aware of a new comment that has been posted, they are confronted about it by a concerned party, and/or they receive harassing communication from a 'fan' of theirs, it feels as though they are being violated all over again.
· There are virtually no resources out there to help the victims of this crime. Individuals suffer through this abuse alone.
· Once the photos/videos are posted, there is no hope in getting them down entirely, they are forever on the Internet. The material is downloaded by other users, saved to hard drives around the world, and spread like wildfire across other sites.
· In terms of one's professional life, having a good reputation online is as important as, if not more important than, having a good reputation in the outside world. Companies today use Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other websites to assess job applicants for potential hire. When private nude pictures/videos of someone are posted on the Internet, it threatens their professional reputation. Some quit their jobs because of this, some are fired, and some are unable to get jobs in the first place. Victims of this crime have even taken their own lives due to the distress that it has caused in their personal and professional lives.
· The non-consensual posting of material like this has led some victims to suffer extortion, identity theft, defamation, stalking, and harassment at the hands of the perpetrator and other Internet users.
· The victims of this act are unable to stop it from happening because law enforcement will not even allow these cases to be reported. State police argue that the crime is occurring on the internet, which therefore crosses state lines and is out of their jurisdiction. The FBI claim that these cases are civil and/or do not threaten national security and should therefore be handled solely by lawyers.
· Ignoring this crime is allowing ATROCIOUS websites (10 were found in just a few minutes using Google) to exist whose sole purpose is to defame individuals using pornographic material. One of these (IsAnyoneUp.com) gained substantial attention in the news and media, and finally came down on April 19, 2012. Unfortunately, another revenge porn site went up to replace it (IsAnybodyDown.com) and the founder of the IsAnyoneUp site (Hunter Moore) is now launching a new life-ruining site, HunterMoore.tv.
· We must lobby to amend the laws regarding this type of crime, ensuring that revenge porn is perceived to be a criminal act and is capable of being reported to and handled by state and federal law enforcement. In addition to the emotional damage that it causes, revenge porn threatens one's life physically by opening doors to stalkers, and economically by tarnishing one's professional reputation, therefore, threatening his/her livelihood. This crime should therefore be classified as a felony. Once revenge porn is classified as a felony, law enforcement and webmasters will start listening when this crime is reported. Those that submit revenge porn and ideally those that host it (as they are essentially functioning as cyber-sex traffickers) will be prosecutable.
· It’s time to put a stop to this injustice. Sign this petition and show your support to amend the laws relevant to this crime, making it a felony for individuals to post private nude photographs and/or videos of others without their authorization.