cyberflashing revenge porn jail time

You can now go to prison for cyberflashing, deepfakes and revenge porn

New punishments include jail time, fines and being added to the sex offenders register


New legislation coming into force today will see those who post sexual deepfake images, cyberflash strangers or upload revenge porn prosecuted and potentially jailed for the first time, the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] has said.

It comes after reforms were made to the Online Safety Bill seven months ago following Love Islander Georgia Harrison’s case against Stephen Bear, where ex-partners who share revenge porn would face up to six months in prison – even if they didn’t mean to cause distress to victims.

New legislation is intended to toughen up existing laws around revenge porn. Additionally, “downblousing” (where a photo is taken down a woman’s shirt) will also become an offence.

Cyberflashing – sending an unsolicited sexual photo to someone – will also be punishable by law. This includes Airdropping someone an explicit image on public transport, which many women have reported to be a place where dick pics are sent to them unprovoked.

Additionally, creating and sending sexual deepfake images, like the ones which have been distressingly circulating of Taylor Swift this week, will become a criminal offence to hold creators accountable for their actions.

Punishment for sending unwanted sexual images could include being added to the sex offenders register, being sent to jail for up to two years or fined by the CPS. Charges will vary depending on whether the court thinks the accused intended for the victim to be distressed or humiliated and if the sender intended to achieve “sexual gratification”.

Emma Pickering, Head of Technology-Facilitated Abuse and Economic Empowerment at Refuge told The Tab: “Whilst we are closely following developments as the Online Safety Act gets rolled out, especially in how regulator Ofcom will oversee protections for women and girls, we would like to acknowledge this vital first step in legislation recognising the huge threat AI presents to women and girls when it is used as a weapon by perpetrators to abuse survivors.”

She continued: “The rise of generative AI means that it has become easier than ever to create fake image of women and girls, as tool for abuse, and while there has been lots of public debate around fears of AI-generated images, or ‘deepfakes’, manipulating politics and altering public opinion, the most commonly shared deepfake images on the internet are non-consensual sexual depictions of women.

“Police are not responding to incidents of intimate image abuse in a way that reflects the serious nature of this crimes. It is our hope at Refuge that the criminalisation of intimate image ‘deepfakes’ and reform of wider intimate image abuse law will help survivors of this insidious form of abuse get the justice they deserve when reporting these horrendous cases of intimate image abuse.”

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