Watered Down Revenge Porn Law Passes Florida Legislature

Think before you send that pic.
Think before you send that pic.
Photo: Pro Juventute's Flickr | CC2.0

Revenge porn may finally become illegal in Florida. The Florida Senate passed a new anti-revenge porn law, and it's now headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott. However, the final bill is quite limited compared to what the bill sponsor's originally envisioned. That bill passed in the Senate, but the House earlier passed a weaker version. Since House leaders closed up shop as a political maneuver earlier this week and is no longer doing business, the Senate had no choice but to pass the weaker version of the bill. 

The bill makes it a crime to post an explicit image of an ex on a website. 

"It is becoming a common practice for persons to publish a sexually explicit image of another to Internet websites without the depicted person’s consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person," reads the bill. 

The bill says that even if the picture was taken with consent, the victim had reasonable expectations to believe that the picture would remain private. 

Sen. David Simmons originally envisioned a tougher law. This version of the bill only relates to posting the images on a website. So distributing the images through email, text, or other services like Snapchat is still completely legal. 

The bill also requires that image be posted alongside some personal identifying information. The original Senate bill required the image to include either that information or just the victim's face. 

Simmons had originally planned to amend the bill and work out the differences with the House, but with the House officially adjourned for the session that is now impossible. A previous effort to outlaw revenge porn had died in last year's session. 

Last year the bill had gained steamed when the case of a 20-year-old UCF student had gained national attention. Her ex posted sexually compromising images of her online after she talked to police about a robbery he was suspected of being involved in. 

Earlier this year a Miami Beach man was arrested after posting several images, some taken when the woman was underaged, online in an allegedly calculated revenge campaign. 


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