Last week, a California bill criminalizing the form of online content known as “revenge porn” got signed into law. According to the bill, revenge porn is defined as submitting graphic content online with the “intent to cause serious emotional distress.” In short, it’s an attempt to put a stop websites like Is Anyone Up, and other copycats that provide a platform for jilted lovers to post unseemly photos and videos of their exes without their consent.

This problem has been around for years, and many states have been trying to figure out ways to battle it. New Jersey passed an “Invasion of Privacy” statute, which included instances of revenge porn, many years back, and other states have been considering taking a firm stance on the issue.

The bill, however, is anything but perfect.

On one end we have critics who call the law “weak,” because it doesn’t cover many of the victims of such cases. These victims are those who took photos of themselves and then sent them to lovers; under the bill, if the ex-lovers post these photos, the victims are not protected.

On the other end we have First Amendment activists, who believe the wording isn’t fine-tuned enough. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Nate Cardozo said, “whenever you try and criminalize speech, you have to do so in the most narrowly tailored way possible.” He sees the wording of this law as creating a potential First Amendment issue for instances where it’s not crystal clear who the perpetrator and victim are.

The real take-home from all of this is that victims should be encouraged that action is happening, and they are not alone. While this law may not protect all of them, this newfound momentum is sending a signal that victims can and should be protected.

To further diffuse this message, an organization called the team at WhoIsHostingThis.com created a graphic showing the damage revenge porn causes and what victims can do. It shows the harm this issue has caused, as well as provides a detailed list of ways for victims to protect themselves and be aware of their rights. For more information, go to Women Against Revenge Porn.

Hopefully future bills and amendments will take these critiques into account, and provide better support for those in this situation.

Stand Against Revenge Porn

[Infographic via WhoIsHostingThis]