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New Revenge Porn Law and Policy: The Tweets of Sickly Souls.

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Revenge porn; so this is what it has come to.

This one really grasps the hairs on the back of the head tight, and slaps a despairing face into a weary hand.

If being born into an, ever so slightly, sexually repressed society wasn't enough, now our people’s intimate insecurities are being weaponized. “By who?” I hear you ask, “Who is weaponizing our so secret sexuality this time? The Government?” No, this time it’s not the government. Not the heavy bellied bankers, not even the greedy commercial corporations. It isn't the thousands of blighters past who created the concept of sex as a filthy thing. This time it is none other than each other. That’s right; we avenge our egos and do this to loved ones and lovers past, all in the name of sweet, sweet revenge. Because, as everyone knows, the antidote to a broken heart (or whatever spitefully misguided justification people want to use) is non-consensual sexual shaming. Nothing says ‘I loved you’ like good old fashioned sexual shaming.

What will we be doing next? Sham Shaming mothers with the sharing viral videos of them shitting through childbirth?! Who knows, probably not. Hopefully not. But in culture that has cleverly juxtaposed the evils of porn and revenge, anything can happen.

 A shame it may be, but unfortunately any effort to record a sexual experience fails to capture all that makes it visceral. Sensation is lost to voyeuristic fascination. By erecting a laptop screen between us and experience, we subtract sense, perspective, feeling and body, whittling sex to no more than two-or more-people writhing, rubbing, tugging and grunting; convulsing and pulsating in the pursuit of synergistic gratification contained within timeless, cold, plastic. That’s not to say it's wrong for one's libido to be tickled by the ascending notes of a musical climax, just that we should know they are no more than siren songs that draw out memories, dreams, and thoughts of promiscuous prospects.

The name “Sex-tape” really does Sex an injustice, especially when watched by an uninvolved party. Of course, literally speaking, the title rightly conforms to the content, as far as it is a tape containing sex, but that has no more in common with its real world counterpart than a video of a popping log fire; you may trick your brain into thinking you feel warmer, but good luck melting your marshmallows on it. The use of sex as a tool to shame others, if nothing beneficial, highlights exactly how lost and confused we have become in the tunnels of the sexual maze.

Last month the law was adapted to include “revenge porn” in its archive of criminal acts in England and Wales. This has spurred on social media sites to create and clarify rules concerning the cancerous nature of revenge porn. The new law defines revengeporn as: 

"Photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public". 

This new law applies to SMS messages as well as social media, and the distribution of such material can earn a guilty party up to two years in jail. Not a sentence to be taken lightly.

Twitter have said anyone found sharing any form of revenge porn will instantly have their accounts locked, with the suspension lasting until the content is deleted. This will be considered a crime once a non-consenting victim provides proof of their identity and evidence that they did not give their permission for the content to be uploaded.

Twitter, widely known for the waning strength of the war they wage on trolls, will use this change of law and policy to get back in the good books of the, presently, poorly protected public.

Facebook has made no strict change to its revenge porn policing policy, already having in place a guideline that offers zero tolerance towards pornographic perpetrations. However, in a bid to emphasise the change in law, they have strengthened their stance by clarifying their position on the subject. In the first section of their easily accessible “Community Standards”, revenge porn falls under their Bullying and harassment sub-section where they promise to:

“…remove content that threatens or promotes sexual violence or exploitation… To protect victims and survivors, we also remove photographs or videos depicting incidents of sexual violence and images shared in revenge or without permissions from the people in the images. 
Our definition of sexual exploitation includes solicitation of sexual material, any sexual content involving minors, threats to share intimate images... Where appropriate, we refer this content to law enforcement. Offers of sexual services include prostitution, escort services, sexual massages, and filmed sexual activity.” 

It may be a tough task to prevent and police the uploading of revenge porn, but with the deterrent of jail time and the backing of the social media titans, the scorned and stupid among us may think twice before they click share. But know this; if their moral compass fails them and they choose to ignore the threat of the law, the only thing they can broadcast with a click of a button is their own foolish hurt and insecurities. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having sex, and nothing wrong with being recorded having sex. The only evil shared in these situations is that which lies in the sad hearts and fingers of those lonely clickers.

Leo Donnelly 

Ever wondered what would happen if you gave a half-crazed, semi-concussed, unstoppable maverick a platform to write about social media? Follow him @LeoAtSMF

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New Revenge Porn Law and Policy: The Tweets of Sickly Souls. Reviewed by Leo Donnelly on Friday, March 20, 2015 Rating: 5
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