Smartphones, with their high-resolution cameras, make it easy for people to document their lives. Men and women use their phones to take pictures of everything, from delicious food to beautiful landscapes. Users then share their captured experiences with friends and family via text messages or social media.
Unfortunately, advancements in smartphone technology have also resulted in some disturbing trends that are cause for concern. Most adult Americans are familiar with the practice of taking nude photos and sharing them with romantic partners and spouses.
Intimate photography, when kept private, is a seemingly benign practice; however, there are many instances of people sharing private photos with the public. There are also some who would share nude pictures with people who did not ask for them; this concerning trend is nothing short of online harassment.
Women, in particular, receive unwanted photos from men that are sexual in nature on a regular basis. California Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) would like to make this practice illegal, according to California Globe. She has personally received nude photos from her constituents. Sen. Chang plans to introduce the bill in January when the Legislature returns to work.
“I’d say 95% of the women I have talked to have experienced something like this,” stated Senator Chang. “We have to send a message that this culture of online harassment must go.”
Legislation to Ban Unsolicited Nude Photos
The California Legislature has already taken steps to outlaw the practice of revenge porn, that is, sharing revealing photos online in an attempt to harm an ex. Sen. Chang is working with the dating app Bumble to draft the new legislation, according to the article. Bumble previously worked with lawmakers in Texas to pass a similar bill: HB 2789; the law makes sending an unsolicited nude picture a misdemeanor that includes a $500 fine.
The app has added technology to erase nude photos that are sent and support legislation that would mitigate the risk of online harassment. As it stands now, all indications suggest that a bill similar to Texas HB 2789 would receive bipartisan support in California.
“It’s a gateway to more extreme forms of harassment and abuse and it should not be taken lightly, and it deserves consequences,” said Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.
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