Revenge Porn: What You Need To Know Before Posting
Reality television star Rob Kardashian has rocked the entertainment world by posting nude photos of his ex-fiancé, Blac Chyna, on Instagram and Twitter, along with captions alleging that she had cheated on him.
“I never been so disrespected in my life," he added. "I just bought her 250K of jewellery yesterday. This woman is so disrespectful and I don’t care.”
The posts have since been deleted, and Kardashian's Instagram account was shut down by the company. However, this story isn't just a mere example of tabloid gossip; it raises serious questions about the legality of his actions, as it's now being speculated that he could face charges for revenge porn, an offence that could amount to six months of jail time.
What is "revenge porn?"
The term refers to a relatively new and disturbing trend of people disseminating naked photos of their ex-partners.
Why is revenge porn a problem?
Where to start? It's an obvious violation of another human being's privacy. Plus, taking your exes' naked photos and sending them to the world is about as low as it gets. However, that hasn't stopped thousands of people from stooping to that level. In May, the Guardian revealed that Facebook alone hosted over 50,000 potential cases of revenge porn on its site, signalling that this is quickly becoming a go-to outlet for many who find themselves heartbroken and seeking retribution.
However, while the problem is becoming more prevalent, it's also being met with the proper legislative response. More than half of the states in the US have created laws to specifically discourage any would-be criminals from contributing to the rising number of revenge porn cases. In Australia, South Australia and Victoria have led the way, establishing laws that make revenge porn a criminal offence.
Does Kardashian's act violate this law?
It's possible. On its face, the incident seems to be a textbook example of revenge porn. After all, his motivation for posting the photos was clearly framed by anger and heartache stemming from his tumultuous relationship with Chyna.
However, a report by TMZ voices skepticism that Kardashian's act is in violation, noting that Chyna liked the photos on Instagram before they were deleted. They speculate that this could be read as a tacit endorsement of his decision to share the images.
Still, Kardashian is walking a fine, fine line.