Revenge Pornography Weekly Update: How to Protect Yourself

Revenge pornography legislation changes on a week-by-week basis. We will be tracking these updates, as well as notable progress made in revenge pornography cases, and sharing them weekly in this space. 

30 August 2017

Sarah Young wrote an article in The Independent recently about “How to Protect Yourself from Revenge Porn.”  She cites research from Stay Brave UK, a non-profit that provides support to male, LGBT, and non-binary victims of sexual assault/domestic violence.  Its study identifies four ways in which people who decide to consensually exchange nude photos can protect themselves against revenge porn:

  1. Make sure your face is not in the photo.
  2. Only send to trusted recipients.
  3. Use secure messaging applications with encryption.
  4. Store photos securely in a hard drive with password protection, rather than in the cloud.

While these tips are certainly helpful for people who engage in sexting, they are anything but foolproof when it comes to being protected from revenge porn.  Often, for example, victims of revenge porn are filmed without their consent.  Sometimes, perpetrators use Photoshop to overlay victims’ faces onto sexually explicit images, when the victims never took part in the acts displayed.

There are ways to lower the risk that images are shared, but there is no way to be 100% safe.  Consequently, we need to build a society that protects and respects victims of revenge porn.  It is never the victim’s fault if, for example, they did show their face in a photo that was later non-consensually shared.  It is always the perpetrator’s fault for committing the crime.