The Instigator
SkySky16
Con (against)
The Contender
Mharman
Pro (for)

Revenge porn should be criminalized.

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Debate Round Forfeited
SkySky16 has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 245 times Debate No: 101731
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

SkySky16

Con

Let me define what this is here:
Revenge porn
revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person posted on the Internet, typically by a former sexual partner, without the consent of the subject and in order to cause them distress or embarrassment.

I will be taking the stance that it should not be criminalized, and should remain completely legal.

R1: Acceptance
R2: Opening Statements, no refuting opposing arguments
R3&4: Rebuttals
R5: Closing Arguments

Cite sources if needed, remain respectful, have fun!
Mharman

Pro

I will argue that it shall be criminalized.
Debate Round No. 1
SkySky16

Con

Let me start that out by saying I don't support such an act as revenge porn. I will not be "slut shaming" or anything of that ilk. Let's begin by outlining my main arguments.

1. While revenge porn is bad, criminalizing it is worse.

On topics such as these people often start of with, "Free speech is important, but..." This is where I have to stop them. Although the arguments usually are "But think about the women and children!!!" and "But think about my free speech!"
The exploitation of women and children have always been used as justification to regulate the internet. Just look at the Communications Decency act of 1996 or the more recent California ballot initiative Proposition 35. These efforts, though noble, have been stopped by the "inconvenience" of the First Amendment.
First amendment issues aren't the only reason why we should negate the roar to criminalize it. The over broad and vague definition of revenge porn leaves it to be too subjective. This causes unintended consequences. To disregard this aspect of instituting a law is irresponsible. So let's look into it. Anthony Weiner has revealing pictures of his genitalia on the web. Many tabloids commented and wrote articles about them online and included the links or the pictures themselves. Under this definition of revenge porn, the tabloids as well as the person who originally posted and anyone else who shared these pictures online would be able to be held criminally responsible. Not only would this burden our already overburdened prison system, it would very clearly breach a fundamental constitutional freedom. The right of the press and also the right to free speech.
The earlier versions of the California revenge porn bill and many other like it around the country are taking this stance. Under this definition, anyone who links, shares, blogs about, hosts a site where someone linked/shared/blogged about, etc. would all be subject to both civil and criminal liabilities:[1]

"a. A victim can go after the initial vengeful discloser under a tort theory of public disclosure of private information and even the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
b. A victim who personally took the photographs holds copyright in them and can have them removed from a website through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
c. Porn websites " whether hosting voluntary or involuntary porn " are subject to more laws than just CDA 230; conceivably, the FBI could go after some revenge porn sites under 18 U.S.C. 2257 for not keeping records on the subjects of their photos.
d. Finally, websites that offer to take down photos in return for payment are clearly in the business of extortion, which, once again, is already illegal."

2. Revenge porn isn't an issue anymore.

Most of the worst offenders of revenge porn have already been taken down. These are websites that were popular but no longer exist. [1]
Furthermore, if you knowingly and willingly give pornographic pictures of yourself to another person(s) then they have ownership of those pictures. This means they can post, text, send, share, blog, or whatever they want to do and should still be within their own legal rights.

3. What does the criminalization of revenge porn actually achieve?

Will "justice" in punishing the perpetrators tangibly help the victims? The answer is no, it isn't possible. These photos will still and always exist on the internet.
Whatever deterrent effect you could claim on the criminalization of revenge porn would already have taken effect because of the civil litigation already happening.
Restraining orders cannot be enforced, domestic violence victims are impeded in initiating civil actions against abusers, and employers can fire their employees for being sexualized on the internet. Why not address these problems instead of regulating the internet? Because addressing these would actually help the victims.

4. Conclusion

This isn't a choice between the internet and women, or between free speech and feminism. Those are both false dichotomies. No, refusing to criminalize revenge porn wouldn't make us misogynists. It would make us prudent.

[1] https://www.wired.com...
Mharman

Pro

I apologize, I must waive this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Mharman

Pro

I'm going to have to waive this one as well. Sorry.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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