PA House Outlaws “Revenge Porn”

Violators could get several years in prison.

Just before the summer break, Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill that outlaws “revenge porn” in the state. Violators of the law would face two years in prison if the victim is an adult and five years if the victim is a minor. Presumably, those distributing photos of minors would also face child pornography charges.

Revenge porn is pornography that is distributed without the consent of the individual or individuals pictured. It generally takes the form of an ex-boyfriend posting dirty photos of his ex-girlfriend online once she’s broken up with him or wronged him in some way. (Hence the “revenge” part.) Obviously, the genders can be reversed, or both parties can be the same sex. It can also take other, similar forms. It’s been around for a while, obviously, but — as Internet usage expands and photos get easier to take and share online — there have been more calls to criminalize it explicitly.




Nine states have bills prohibiting revenge porn, including New Jersey. N.J. used its 2003 invasion of privacy law to prosecute Dharun Ravi after Rutgers student Tyler Clementi's suicide. Though Pennsylvania passed a bill that originated in the House, Berks County Democratic Sen. Judy Schwank originally pushed for the bill in the Senate earlier this year.

"We’ve been able to put these two bills together to retain the strongest features of both," Schwank told KYW 1060.

[KYW 1060]

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