REVENGE PORN – CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN…REVENGE NOT SO SWEET

Scenario: Things between you and your Mrs haven’t been going too well as of late. You start to wonder if this is the right relationship for you and your eyes begin to wonder. You’ve heard about a new dating app and decide to give it a try. A couple of days pass by and you start chatting to what seems to be your dream woman. You hit it off instantly and start out by exchanging a few text messages. The chemistry is palpable. She asks you to send a few pictures and you oblige, and end up revealing a bit too much of yourself. The next day, your employer calls you in and informs you he has received an e-mail with certain pictures of you “over-exposed”. What do you do?

Revenge porn is a term that has recently been coined and refers to the unfortunate situation as described in our scenario above, the sending or distribution of sexually explicit images or videos of a person without that persons consent, especially as a form of harassment or revenge. The 21st century generation lives online, social media or otherwise, but many seem to forget that once you send or post an image on the world wide web you are no longer in control of where that image may go. 

More often than not the guilty party is a disgruntled ex-partner who’s intention is to psychologically and emotionally hurt the victim and or cause reputational harm to the victim. Revenge porn not only affects the victim emotionally but may cause the victim to be socially shunned or even ruin their professional life and cause financial issues.

What does the law say?

The South African government has drafted two new Bills, the Films and Publications Amendment Bill and the Cybercrimes and Cyber security Bill that will regulate online content, and revenge porn. In terms of the proposed new law, no person may post private photos or films on the internet without the consent of the person depicted in the photo or with the intention of causing harm to the persons reputation or emotions. Essentially, revenge porn will become a criminal offence, and should you be found guilty, the wrong-doer could serve up to three years behind bars or face a hefty fine, or both.

At the moment, revenge porn in itself is not a crime, but lends itself towards defamation due to the fact that a person’s reputation can be severely harmed if their colleagues come across certain “compromising photographs”, particularly in the professional/corporate sector, let alone their employment and livelihood be jeopardised. In this instance, depending on the nature and severity of the situation, you may be able to institute a claim for damages against the wrong-doer.

 

For more information about this article you are welcome to contact out offices on 011 897 1900 or info@tuckers.co.za.

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za