There’s little reaching across the aisle in today’s political climate, but one movement appears to have united not only lawmakers, but the public and private spheres as well. On Tuesday, November 28, three U.S. senators and one congresswoman introduced a bill that would address revenge porn. Titled the Ending Nonconsensual Online User Graphic Harassment (ENOUGH) Act of 2017, the aptly named piece of legislation seeks to end the dissemination of explicit images without consent.
With ENOUGH, the Department of Justice would be guaranteed the necessary tools to address revenge porn. Moreover, the bill would create federal criminal repercussions for those who spread revenge porn. “A prosecution would also have to prove that no reasonable person would consider the shared image to touch on a matter of public concern,” the release concerning the bill stated.
A number of internet companies have already expressed their support for the bill, including social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. Indeed, these two networks are often used to spread such graphic content, and the companies have pursued their own efforts to crack down on these images. Just last month, Twitter updated its acceptable use policy to explicitly state that “intimate photos or videos” cannot be shared without a user’s consent. And earlier this month, Facebook began testing ways to tag photos as non-consensual explicit media.
“For victims of nonconsensual pornography, technology today makes it possible to destroy a person’s life with the click of a button or a tap on a cell phone,” Congressperson Jackie Speier said in a statement. “The damage caused by these attacks can crush careers, tear apart families, and, in the worst cases, has led to suicide. What makes these acts even more despicable is that many predators have gleefully acknowledged that the vast majority of their victims have no way to fight back. Even in states that have laws on the books, the average person can’t afford to take on these predators in civil courts. Worse are the numerous victims who have mustered the courage and strength to pursue criminal charges, only to learn there is no law that protects them. The ENOUGH Act will fix this gaping hole in our legal system.”