Revenge Porn Bill Passes in California. But Does it Go Far Enough?

California's Gov. Jerry Brown has signed off on a state revenge porn law. The law criminalizes posting sexually graphic photos or videos of someone without their consent, effective immediately. Revenge porn has been getting attention recently, amid stories of victims who found it futile to prosecute exes or get the offending material taken down. But while California's bill is a step in the right direction, it falls far short of what's really needed to end revenge porn.

The official charge is "illegally distributing private images with the intent to harass or annoy," and those found guilty face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. "The new law will most likely be contentious," according to Atlantic Wire.

But the bill is also contentious because a lot of people don't think it goes far enough. Under the new law, a prosecutor must show that someone intended "to harass or annoy" in order to make the charge stick. Instead of making posting porn without a subject's consent a crime, it requires a victim to prove that the poster intended revenge.

It also doesn't apply to photos or videos a person takes or sends themselves. That means if you send a selfie, it's still fair game for someone to upload it to a porn site and even identify you in it.

But California's new law is a first step at least. "Until now, there was no tool for law enforcement to protect victims,” said the bill's sponsor, state Sen. Anthony Cannella. “Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted.”

Now, if we can just get 48 more states to think similarly

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