Revenge porn: the terrible scourge of porn disclosure on the internet

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For several years, cyberbullying has continued to claim thousands of victims. Among them, some are the target of “revenge porn”, the dissemination of intimate images without their knowledge.

On February 12, 2020, in the morning, a sexual video was massively shared by Internet users. The media machine is racing. Behind this intimate sequence, Alexandra de Taddeo at the origin of the publication of this video of Benjamin Griveaux then candidate for mayor of Paris. A detonation in the political sphere which pushes him elsewhere to withdraw his candidacy. This is one of the best-known examples of what is called “revenge porn” or pornodisclosure. The principle is to broadcast intimate photos or videos on the internet or social networks to blackmail someone or tarnish their image.

For several years, this phenomenon has been rampant in college, high school but also in all strata of society. The power of social networks generates an uncontrollable virality and irreparable damage for women and men thrown as food on the web. “The story is simple, a young woman in a relationship for three years with a boy. She sends him intimate videos and photos, but a few years after their breakup, he publishes these images for fun. The worst is that he had not necessarily separated on bad terms, ”recalls Camille Auvergnas, lawyer at the Paris bar, from Haute-Garonne who defended the victim. It was his first file of this type since the beginning of his career. “I think that the victims, men or women, may not dare to appear in court, they have already experienced the horror of discovering themselves on the internet naked or in sexual postures”, analyzes the criminal lawyer. The department of Haute-Garonne is no exception to this sad phenomenon.

Almost daily complaints

According to a departmental source from the gendarmerie, parents who come with their children to file a complaint are almost everyday occurrences. “It’s often young people, college students and college girls. On the networks without thinking too much, they share sexual images of their comrades. They don’t think about the consequences, ”he slips. An observation shared by Magali Dechavanne, president of the Haut-Garonne association “Cybhar’so”, born in 2017 after the sad story of a friend who was also a victim for years of “revenge porn” at the initiative of her ex. -companion. Every two months with the other two founders, she collects testimonies from victims. “The youngest was in CE2 and the oldest was 67 years old, he had masturbated, had been filmed without his knowledge and some were blackmailing him by threatening to broadcast the sequence”, says Magali.

For her, minorities such as women, members of the LGBTQI + community, isolated people are even more the target of this type of harassment. “And the result is just dramatic, it totally destroys people’s lives,” she adds. So at their level, so that the list does not grow longer, they do prevention within colleges to raise awareness about privacy, the weight of social networks and the importance of preserving one’s privacy. But the side effect of digital is indeed the possibility of hiding behind your screen and therefore of remaining anonymous. By various means, many authors manage to hide and disseminate these images with impunity. The task of identifying them is arduous and therefore makes prosecution difficult. “And the perpetrators say to themselves that they are untouchable, they enjoy a kind of impunity”, sums up the Parisian criminal. In 2016, as part of the law for a Digital Republic, an article recognizes the dissemination of pornographic images without consent as an offence. Since last January, the European Parliament and the Member States have been negotiating with the Commission on the regulation on digital services (“Digital Services Act”, DSA). Among the measures put forward, impose the deletion of images used for “revenge porn”. The discussions were to end this Friday, April 22. Important advances for victims.

“Stop Fisha” fights sexual and gender-based cyberbullying

The “Stop Fisha” collective was created in 2020 during confinement to help victims of revenge porn, or porn disclosure. The association has set itself the task of flushing out what are called “fisha” accounts, in other words accounts on social networks which aim to share photos of young girls, mostly minors, without their consent. The group also provides legal aid to victims.

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Revenge porn: the terrible scourge of porn disclosure on the internet


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