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The Italian assault to revenge porn

Revenge porn is the unauthorized and malicious dissemination of intimate images or videos on the internet. The victim is usually naked or engaging in a sexual act.

Revenge porn first came to prominence in the U.S. and, as a result, American legislation is probably the most advanced when dealing with the problem. According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 41 states and Washington DC have laws expressly applicable to revenge porn.

Recently in Europe, laws regarding revenge porn began their development and, by now, only in the United Kingdom, England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Malta, Germany and France these kinds of laws are in force. The subject became of public interest even in Italy after the case of Tiziana Cantone, which engaged activists and organizations.

Recent news reports in Italy have sped up the need for a concrete regulation regarding revenge porn:

  • A combination of politics, revenge and the exploitation of women’s bodies is certainly the case of congresswoman Giulia Sarti (Movimento 5 Stelle), whose nude pictures have been leaked on private messaging systems.
  • The historic judgment that has imposed a heavy conviction on a man that repeatedly threatened and blackmailed his ex-girlfriend after releasing intimate photos and videos without her consent.
  • The case of a 13 year-old girl that fainted in class after being intimidated about some revealing photos of the teenager.

All these events regarding women prove the social need of clear rules with certain consequences for offenders who violate them.

Along with the governments, responsible for the protection of their citizens, also the big tech leaders are becoming more and more aware of the danger of this outrageous phenomenon.

As a matter of fact, Zuckerberg is launching a pilot program to battle revenge porn: using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Facebook and Instagram should be able to detect suspicious accounts, nude images and videos and block them before their diffusion.