Sexting and Revenge Porn

By Andy Kay

We do everything possible on our phones: video chat, work emails, grocery home delivery, vacation photos, fitness training...you name it and our phone is most likely doing it for us in some way or another. Through our phones, we navigate personal relationships as well. Sending sexy texts and NSFW photos to someone we are dating or in a relationship with is common and totally acceptable. What is not acceptable is another person sharing those intimate photos or videos without your consent.

Digitized images of our most intimate moments are uploaded, downloaded, transmitted and seen by sometimes countless people...some with which we never intended to share our personal moments. And now, with more and more people meeting through dating apps (i.e. Tinder, Bumble, Match), it’s tempting to show off or get someone's attention by sending cute, flashy, sexy, or just downright naughty photos. 

Should you go ahead and send that new guy the super sexy photo he's been asking for? What about making a sexy video with your partner to spice up the relationship? Well the simple answer is no, because you can’t trust anybody. Your greatest risk of having your intimate photos and videos shared against your will, is from the person you thought you could trust the most. It happens all the time: the actual trusted person blasts you out to whatever medium they think will either make themselves look better or humiliate you the most. Once the love or lust wears off there is no limit to what retaliatory actions your former heartthrob will stoop to.

Most celebrities and people with big job titles are arguably the biggest targets. But they are the ones we HEAR about; it happens to normal people with normal jobs all the time... 

 

Don't be a victim 

My advice? Keep your damn clothes on and stop photo flashing everyone that hits you up for booby or d*** pics! OK, I know that’s like telling you not to have sex before you get married, so the alternatives are as follows:

  • Make sure you know the character of the person you are sharing your images with. Or at least don't show your face in the nude shots until you really know the person.
  • Use an app to send images that self-destructs, preferably one that you set the time the message self destructs. Programs such as Snapchat, Whisper, etc. are good for this. 
  • Make sure the app notifies you of a screen shot being used. This doesn’t stop a person or notify you if someone takes a photo from another device, but at least it's an extra measure of security.
  • Make sure to send all receivers of your photos a copy of the state code that includes the punishment for revenge porn related offenses. LOL (That's a joke...kind of)
  • Be prepared to see those images again. Once something goes into the digital world it is never ever really gone and can show up at very inconvenient times. Not saying it will happen to you, just saying don't be surprised if/when it does. 

IF these intimate photos/videos of you have been published online, here's what you need to know:

  • In the state of California, Revenge Porn is taken very seriously. Repeat offenders get serious fines and jail time.
  • You need to be able to prove the person knew the photos/videos would cause you emotional distress, and you also need to be able to prove that the actions have caused you emotional distress.
  • Consider hiring an attorney to take the offender to task. Revenge Porn is criminal. Treat that person as a criminal and make them face the courts. Many times, people will settle outside of court because they are afraid to be held accountable or simply because they know they will lose.
  • Scorned lovers can get nasty. Call a private investigator if you need help fighting back. PI's can gathering proof that the person is sharing your photos/videos and in some cases, testify in court on your behalf. And trust me, judges do NOT taking kindly to someone victimizing another person.