Tougher 'Revenge Porn' Law Enacted In North Carolina

Cracking Down On 'Revenge Porn'

NORTH CAROLINA--With the rise of technology and social media, comes the rise of ways to abuse it.

One of those abuses is occurring at an alarming rate - something called "Revenge Porn". It's a way to get back at someone - posting a private photo of the person online, without their consent. Revenge porn is illegal in 38 states, including North Carolina.

The original North Carolina "revenge porn" law, passed back in 2015, said in order for prosecution of this as a crime, the private or explicit photo had to be connected to a long-term relationship.

Think about it this way: at the time the picture was taken, you were okay with taking it, because you believed that photo will stay just between you and your significant other. Later on, the relationship might go bad, and as "revenge,” your significant other posts the picture - attempting to damage your reputation.

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That is illegal, as explained by defense attorney Locke Clifford.

“[The “Revenge Porn” Law] is to protect people,” he said, “The idea most people are going to think – well, if she consented to have her picture taken naked, she has consented to having it displayed on the Internet. But no, she had not.”

The new law that went into effect on December 1st goes even further. It's now illegal to post nude or sexual images of a person without the person's consent - even from a casual or one-time relationship. And, it also applies to pictures you don't know were taken.

“For pictures were taken without your consent, you can now prosecute,” explained lawyer Skye David, who represents the Coalition Against Sexual Assault, “That now qualifies for prosecution where it did not before, which was a big loophole. [Before,] the person themselves had to send it in the first bill.”

These new protections broaden the scope of who and what falls under the 'revenge porn' definition.

Big moves are being made against revenge porn, on the federal level too. Just last week, four lawmakers, including North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, filed a bill called the Ending Nonconsensual Online User Graphic Harassment Act of 2017, or the ENOUGH Act. The legislation would make revenge porn a federal crime.

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