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The Badass Army Fighting Revenge Porn

Sharing nude selfies with partners is increasingly common. Too often, though, these images end up posted online without consent.

BADASS Army is an army of volunteers getting these images taken down and punishing people who upload them without consent—whether they’re exes posting revenge porn, a hacker releasing them, or someone stealing them through other means.

What is Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn, also known as nonconsensual image sharing (NCIS), is a type of pornography that refers to the unlawful sharing of sexually explicit images or video without the subject's permission. This ranges from simple nude selfies or intimate moments shared between partners to hackers targeting online storage lockers. Some porn is even made and distributed without the subject's knowledge at all.

But whether the act is committed by a former lover, acquaintance, or stranger, most revenge porn isn't driven by revenge or by any feelings towards the victim at all. That's because an innocent share with a friend or a global, cloud-based hack may be more about bragging rights or social disruption, rather than a malicious desire to humiliate or intimidate.

Regardless of the intent, however, it's all considered revenge porn, and it might even earn you some jail time. In fact,46 U.S. states, including Washington D.C. and Guam, have revenge porn laws on the books.

The most recent legal implication, in Virginia, expanded the state's existing revenge porn law to include so-called "deepfakes," or manipulated images and videos created by machine learning, which can be just as damaging to victims as the real thing.

The new law, which went into effect on July 1, 2019, also covers "photoshopped" and more crude forms of fake pornography, not just the newer and more sophisticated deepfakes.

Effects of Revenge Porn on Victims

With profound, psychological effects that range from anxiety and depression to full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), revenge porn can affect victims' mental health long after the initial share. And because of how things spread online, they can be virtually impossible to remove without the right resources.

The worst part is that once it's out there, it's out there forever. New threats and exposures can happen at any time towards a victim's employer, friends, spouses, and even their children, long after the victim has moved on.

Revenge porn is also more common than you'd expect. According to the Data & Society Research Institute, almost one in 20 Americans report that they've had a nude or nearly nude image shared online without their consent. Furthermore, one in 10 women say that they've received exposure threats about nudes they'd privately shared.

How to Help Victims of Revenge Porn

Unfortunately for victims, it can be increasingly difficult to deal with revenge porn once it's posted online.

While most social networks have specific protocols to report and remove indecent content, anyone can copy and distribute the content once it's out there. Less scrupulous websites and forums often turn a blind eye to pornography on their servers.

That's when you need help, and that's where the BADASS Army comes in. They provide support to victims of revenge porn and can even help advise on legal matters via their website. More information on how to deal with revenge porn can also be found on the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative website.

BADASS stands for “Battling Against Demeaning and Abusive Selfie Sharing,” and they're serious about waging war against revenge porn.



If you’re inspired by the BADASS Army, check out more amazing individuals helping victims of abuse by offering pro-bono legal representation for survivors of domestic violence.

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