Revenge Porn

Revenge Porn

The term revenge porn usually refers to the act of uploading and making public sexually explicit images and videos of someone, without their consent, as an act of revenge. Usually this is done to humiliate, shame or intimidate someone after they have ended a relationship. In most cases, the images and videos are taken or shared consensually during the course of the relationship, however, when it ends the person who felt jilted then posts the pictures and videos to public forums online without their former partners consent.

Often, the images or videos are accompanied by personal identifying information, like names, birthdates, and contact information. Sometimes the images are posted to social media sites like Facebook, or uploaded to Instagram. However, people have been known to create false advertisements for escort services, using their former partners information, on sites like Craigslist and Backpage.com.

Revenge porn and the Law

Revenge porn, in addition to being a form of harassment, is considered to be a form of sexual abuse, and is sometimes referred to as non consensual pornography or cyber rape. Because revenge porn has become something of a phenomenon in the last decade or so, many people are calling for it to be made illegal. However, critics believe that criminalizing revenge porn is equivalent to stifling ones right to freedom of speech.

As is the case with most crimes that involve modern technology, due to the rapid nature of changes and developments in the tech industry, the law is usually slower to catch up with societys misuse of technology. Which is why there is still no federal law prohibiting revenge porn. But many states around the U.S. have begun, in recent years, to propose and pass laws making revenge porn illegal. And Michigan is no different.

Michigan revenge porn laws

In the spring of 2014, the Michigan Senate proposed and passed bills (SB 924 & 925) that would make revenge porn illegal. The goal behind the proposed law is to protect the privacy and reputation of individuals by making it unlawful to post images of a sexual nature online without someones consent. The specific language of the bills states that the intent behind posting the images publicly would be to frighten, intimidate, or harass someone. However, as of yet, those bills have not been signed into law.

The proposed law would make revenge porn a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, with a maximum fine of up to $500 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses would mean a full year in jail and possible fines of up to $1,000.

The proposed law also specifies exactly what sexual material is, so as to avoid any possible confusion or misuse of the law. In addition, it also states that the law would not be applied to commentary, or artistic and expressive works, such as a performance, a work of art, literary work, theatrical work, music, motion pictures, films, or audiovisual pieces.

As of now, those in Michigan who post private images of a sexual nature to exact revenge on a former partner or spouse are usually still prosecuted, but under less specific laws. In most cases, those accused of posting revenge porn are charged with unlawful posting of a message,” which is a felony, and is punishable by up to two years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

Is revenge porn protected by first amendment rights?

The debate about whether revenge porn is actually criminal behavior has been raging for some time, and shows no signs of stopping. There are those who believe that if you knowingly and intentionally share an image or video with someone else, then you have given it to them, and it becomes their property. Which means that they may do as they please with it.

Or can they? Those who have been victims of revenge porn say that the devastation to their reputations and careers is unquantifiable. In many documented cases, women have been stalked and threatened as a result of revenge porn. In some cases, the emotional trauma has led to suicide.

The issue here is a tricky one indeed, as it blurs the lines between what is considered someones right to privacy, and someone elses right to free speech. Many people believe that an image shared privately between two people, with the understanding that it would remain private, they should reasonably have the expectation that it would remain so.

But others disagree, claiming that if you share an image of yourself naked with someone else, or consent to allow someone to take naked pictures of you, you have forfeited your right to privacy. The result is a very heated, and very emotional argument, that makes it very difficult to address within a legal context.

Revenge porn consequences

Although revenge porn has been posted of both male and female subjects, it is typically women who are the victims. And the results can be devastating. Many victims of revenge porn have lost their jobs, been harassed and stalked by strangers, and have had their personal relationships irreparably damaged. There are also many documented cases of women suffering from severe depression in the wake of discovering that they are the victims of revenge porn, while others committed suicide to escape the humiliation.

But not all victims are so cowed. Many fight back and, as this becomes more and more of an issue handled in the public eye, many are now winning that battle. While neither federal nor current state law protects victims of revenge porn, lawsuits can help them better handle the fallout.

Numerous victims have turned to civil suits to settle their grievances, and many have won. This is in addition to the fact that, while Michigan doesnt have laws making revenge porn illegal, prosecutors have successfully prosecuted defendants under older statutes pertaining to harassment and the posting of electronic messages.

Revenge porn defense attorneys

If you made the mistake of responding to a broken heart by trying to cause your former partner grief, then you are certainly not the first person in human history to react badly. And you wont be the last. But while bad-mouthing your ex may be considered bad form, there is a difference between trash-talking someone to your friends, and posting naked pictures of them on the internet. And the consequences are considerable more severe for the latter.

So if you or a loved one are accused of posting revenge porn, or have been charged with the unlawful posting of a message, you are going to need an excellent defense attorney who understands the complexity of the law in these types of cases. An attorney who is up to date on modern technology, case history, and current state and federal statutes. A Kronzek & Cronkright attorney.

We provide free case evaluations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are looking for an experienced and hard working attorney to represent you in a revenge porn case, youve come to the right place. Contact us immediately, any time of day or night. There is always someone available to answer your call, and in most cases you will be speaking to an experienced attorney within minutes.


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