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Action News Investigates Revenge Porn

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Updated: 2/17 6:49 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Florida has become the latest state to consider new legislation to criminalize so-called revenge porn.

The term is used to describe a person uploading intimate, nude images of a former spouse or partner, without their permission.

"I shared these pictures with someone I loved and trusted, never in a million years did I think he would distribute them on the internet,” said Holly Jacobs, the founder of EndRevengePorn.org.

After ending a long distance relationship, Jacobs says her ex began posting nude pictures of her on the internet. She went to police and was told there was nothing illegal about it.

"There was a collage of nude photos of me on a revenge porn site along with an explicit video of me,” Jacobs said. “Within three days, my life was turned upside down.”

Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami, says “If two people send these types of images to each other, there is an understood agreement that they’re going to remain confidential.”

Franks is working with 14 states to draft new laws to punish someone who posts intimate images online without permission.

"I hope we have enough support in Florida that people understand how dangerous this is and how devastating to victims it is, and how trying to say oh she shouldn’t have sent the pictures, really misrepresents what happens.” 

Right now only California and New Jersey have laws against revenge porn. As more states work to craft legislation, the federal government has declared war on the websites that traffic in it.  In recent weeks, Hunter Moore, the self-proclaimed king of revenge porn was arrested by the FBI on hacking charges.

Four years after the first nude image of her appeared on Facebook, Jacobs has earned her Ph.D. and  is giving victims a voice. Her website is a call for change, not only in the law, but in perception.

“I think people are naïve to think that we wouldn’t also use technology to connect in our personal relationships.  There’s nothing wrong with sharing these pictures as a way to connect to someone we have an intimate relationship with. It is wrong to use that against someone and harass them and completely destroy their lives,” Jacobs said.

A bill sponsored by Florida Senator David Simmons of Orlando was just sent added to the Criminal Justice Committee’s meeting Monday. The measure would make posting “revenge porn” a third-degree felony. A similar measure is making its way through the Florida House.

Count on Action News for updates.
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amybarnbyude - 2/14/2014 1:50 PM
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