Amber Heard: Are we All Celebrities Now?
By Amber Heard
Since before I even had access to the internet, I was told that anything you post or share, or anywhere you appear online, stays there forever. Amber Heard, American actress and activist experienced non consensual “revenge porn” in 2014, along with numerous other people, mostly females. Intimate photos of her and other celebrities were posted on an online message board, and from there spread all over the internet. These photos were stolen by people that hacked the Apple accounts of these women. Over 50 of Heard’s photos were shared with people online, which she said was “humiliating, degrading, and life-altering.” The release of intimate photos unfairly forces women out of positions of power and deter women from being able to advance in their careers: according to Heard, Representative Katie Hill of California was forced to resign from office after nude pictures of her were shared without consent. Revenge porn, as defined in this OpEd, means that the sharing of these photos is focused on internet rather than consent. It shouldn’t matter why the perpetrator shared the images, it matters that the victim did not give consent for it to happen. In 2013, the first model statue to criminalizing nonconsensual pornography was drafted: only three states had laws against this. Now, forty-six states have laws against it. In Alaska, revenge porn is only a misdemeanor. Legislative reform will be what brings an end to revenge porn, and there are several organizations–Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, or C.C.R.I–that continue to work with the governments in states that have no law against sharing images. These states are: Wyoming, Maine, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
The fact that revenge porn happens–and isn’t illegal in some states–is disgusting. What photos you choose to take and share should be your business and your business only. Not only is it humiliating to have your photos shared, it can cause depression and major anxiety, and in some cases have contributed to women killing themselves over it. I know many people who have had intimate photos of them shared around: in fact, an alarming amount of teenagers pass around others nudes with intent to humiliate or gain respect. It’s atrocious, and I would never wish that on anyone. Hopefully, stronger laws can be enacted against revenge porn. It’s up to the government to protect the privacy of people online, and ensure consequences are severe when those privacy rights are violated. This is an enlightening article, and shared a lot of points and facts I hadn’t thought about. Please, whether or not you send photos or could be affected by this, read this article.