Revenge Porn - The Evil Facet of Love Stories

Revenge porn as it is defined as a sexually explicit photo, vector or video, real or morphed, uploaded by former or current love interest/s of a person with an intent to malign the image of the person for taking revenge of some dispute among them or after their breakup. This trend of ‘revenge porn’ has increased exponentially in India in the recent past with the porn websites being flooded with porn content, although shooting of porn movies is banned in India.

Revenge porn brings with it shame, insult and judgemental bullying of the society and there have been instances when individuals have been slut-shamed publicly, mentally and socially abused. But who is the actual perpetrator behind the scenes, who is responsible for this harassment? Is it just the former love interest/s that turned evil or the society? In some of the worst cases, individuals have even committed suicide.

To a great extent, it is the fault of the person sending the nudes in the first place, as they never actually respected their own privacy and sent their nude pictures/vectors/videos to someone else known/unknown, on some platforms. Their profiles on these platforms can be hacked easily, phones can be stolen and many such other certainties can happen. When questioned about the same, victims usually answer that they trusted them to not share it with anyone else. With this flawed definition of ‘trust,’ people engage in relationships online, sometimes even with unknown people and send nudes without understanding the consequences that may follow.

Trusting another person—a popular misconception, where in reality they just trust their experiences with that person. It is surely possible that they do not have enough experience to judge the person they were in a relationship with. Women or to be precise, women with a flawed sense of judgement and equality(popularly called feminists) blaming only men for these kinds of activities, also have a very flawed sense of justice in their mind.

Privacy is not a luxury, but once taken lightly it becomes a luxury that one can never achieve. Once a person sends a photo from their phone to another one, they will never know havoc can other person rain on them with those clips. No matter how close or how ‘trustworthy’ that person is, people need to respect their own privacy if they want to stay safe from facing a ‘revenge porn’ case.

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There are existing laws which ban the publication of such materials. After the order of the High Court of Uttarakhand, even porn is banned in India. Although this shadowban is not really working, as there are numerous websites which are working even after the so-called ban by the Indian Government. 

Section 67, Section 66E of the IT Act, 2000 deals with such offences which are punishable with a punishment of 3 years or/and a fine of one lakh and on the repetition of the offence, the punishment doubles. Various sections of IPC such as 354C (if the perpetrator is unknown or someone who isn’t expected to watch the woman), 509 are also available, using which a victim can report the crime against the perpetrator. It shall be noted that the IT Act also makes sending of nude photos to someone a punishable offence.

But victim-blaming is not the actual solution. Authorities need to properly address the situation of revenge porn. People indulging in sending and receiving nudes should be made aware of the consequences they can suffer and what they may probably face, once things go south. Strict measures should be taken against people indulging in the publication of revenge porn.

Porn websites have now made it easier for people to report revenge porn and get it removed. Google has also made it possible for people to request the removal of their pictures from their website and search data if they wish so. Google has also delisted various websites from their search results which show revenge porn. A very famous case of one such revenge porn was the State of West Bengal v/s Animesh Boxi, where the accused was sentenced to 5 years of jail and a fine of  9000.

Revenge porn can only be possible if someone indulges in sending or receiving nudes. It shall be noted that any being, who wishes to protect their privacy shall not indulge in such activities. As once the ‘send’ button is hit, the images and videos are prone to making rounds from one corner of the globe to another.

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