By Drew Harwell. The video showed the woman in a pink off-the-shoulder top, sitting on a bed, smiling a convincing smile. It was her face. But it had been seamlessly grafted, without her knowledge or consent, onto someone else's body: a young pornography actress, just beginning to disrobe for the start of a graphic sex scene. A crowd of unknown users had been passing it around online. She felt nauseated and mortified: What if her co-workers saw it? Her family, her friends? Would it change how they thought of her? Would they believe it was a fake?
Online harassment of women at risk of becoming 'established norm', study finds
Is sexting a crime?
Sexting or taking, sending and sharing pictures via digital technologies could expose you to risk and can be considered a criminal offence, especially if it involves harassing people of any age. Find out what you can do to protect your privacy. Sexting or sharing photos online can be considered cyber bullying—which is a criminal offence if it involves using the internet or mobile phone to make threats, stalk someone or menace, harass or seriously offend them. If you think you are being cyber bullied get legal help or talk to someone who can help. Sexting can include images from film, movies, videos, photos, and digital images sent by SMS, email, chat rooms and publishing on blogs. If you make or possess have illegal sexting images or send them to other people you may be charged with distributing child exploitation material, which is a serious crime. If you know the sender, let them know you do not want them to send you any more images. You may also want to talk to a trusted adult or the police about what happened. Get legal advice. If the person continues to send you images report it to the police.
More on this topic for:
WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender. An abuser could use nude or sexual images of you as a way to gain and keep power and control over you. Nonconsensual image sharing or nonconsensual pornography refers to the sharing or distribution of sexual, intimate, nude, or semi-nude photographs or videos of you without your permission. The specific name of this crime and the exact definition varies by state. For example, if a person shares intimate photographs or videos of you, these crimes are often referred to as unlawful dissemination of intimate images or unlawful disclosure of private images. In some states, the threat to share or publish the photos or videos can also be a crime, even if they are never actually shared.
WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender. It depends. For example, if someone places a hidden camera in your bathroom or bedroom and without your knowledge, this is almost always illegal. However, if you are on a nude beach or in a public park and someone takes a video of you nude or doing sexual acts, it may not be illegal to share these images since you likely cannot expect to have privacy in that public place. Again, the specific laws in your state will make it clear what is and is not illegal. In some states, the same law that prohibits sharing intimate images may also address the act of capturing images without your knowledge or consent. In many states, crimes that cover both behaviors may be called violation of privacy or invasion of privacy.