The Brief: Revenge porn, also known as "sextortion" is the proliferation of sexually explicit images or videos without the subject's consent.

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DEEP DIVE

Any sharing of someone else’s nudes or explicit images of them taken without their consent can be considered revenge porn. The name comes from the idea that someone would use this as a tactic of revenge, particularly after a breakup. However, revenge porn is broader than its name suggests.  In nearly 80% of instances, the perpetrator is not motivated by personal feelings or vengeance. 

For its victims, revenge porn can be devastating and even lead to suicide. Generally, in the United States, laws about revenge porn exist on a state-level. 37 states and Washington DC currently have criminal statutes for revenge porn. Activists are working to establish revenge porn as a federal crime, and to change the culture in which revenge porn and harassment are so widespread.