When Bitter Breakups and Digital Photography Meet: What to Teach Our Kids About Revenge Porn

This month, California became the second state to pass a law that punishes people for posting sexually explicit pictures of someone else (most often an ex) as a way to make that person’s life miserable. This form of cyberbullying has been dubbed “revenge porn,” and in recent years a number of websites have popped up to profit off the dangerous combination of digital photography and bitter breakups. Victims of revenge porn not only find nude pictures of themselves posted online without their consent, the pictures are often accompanied by names, addresses, and insults—all of which can be seen by friends, relatives, employers, and total strangers.

Some say the only way to stop this damaging trend is to make posting revenge porn a crime, while others argue that the best way to prevent the situation is to put the camera down in the first place. How do we stop revenge porn without blaming the victim, and what should we say to our kids about this new threat to their privacy?

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