Many of the discussions of revenge porn — including the exchange between Amanda Marcotte and Cathy Reisenwitz in Talking Points Memo – have focused on free speech, forcing us to consider a false dichotomy between speech and gendered harassment.
Many of the discussions force us to consider a false dichotomy between speech and gendered harassment.
A haze of uncertainty surrounds the definition of revenge porn, as Reisenwitz points out. An overbroad definition of revenge porn could net a reporter publishing screencaps of Anthony Weiner’s more infamous tweets. Although we have in our minds the perfect-paradigm case of a sympathetic victim — a nice girl with a penchant for selfies — and an unsympathetic perpetrator — a spurned, vindictive ex-boyfriend with a blatant streak of misogyny — the web of liability becomes nebulous when we think about cases that fall outside this paradigm. (And things get more problematic when we think about websites and website operators beyond the horrifying IsAnybodyUp.com and the entirely unlikable Hunter Moore.)
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