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California Lawmakers Considering Bill Banning ‘Revenge Porn’

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At least one state in the United States is considering passing legislation to help combat the growing problem of “revenge porn.” The California Assembly is considering a law that would hit disgruntled-exes who put pornographic images of their former partners online with up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 if convicted.

The new bill would punish people who posted explicit photos providing that it could be proven that the material was made public “with the intent to cause serious emotional distress.”

Nick Warner, the legislative director of the California State Sheriff's Association, is a fan of the proposed legislation.

“It’s happening with increasing frequency," Warner said. "I didn’t even know what the phrase meant a year ago.”

Sen. Anthony Canella (R) also backs the bill.

“We had some victims come forward and we did some research and we felt it was something important to address,” he said.

End Revenge Porn, an organization that promotes legislation to ban revenge porn and offers victims resources, was started by Holly Jacobs. She has been working with Canella on the bill, The Daily Mail reported.

“I have made every effort to ensure that it is worded in such a way as to provide the appropriate protection to victims while being careful not to impose on First Amendment rights,” Jacobs said in an email. “If this bill ultimately becomes a law, I am confident and excited about the prospect that other states will follow suit and pass their own bills to outlaw revenge porn.”

The ACLU originally opposed the bill on the grounds that the right to post content, even offensive content, is “constitutionally protected.” The organization might reconsider its stance.

“We’ll review the final amendments once they’ve been made and decide on a position, if any, then,” said ACLU communications strategist Shanelle Matthews.

Sources: The Daily Mail, Buzzfeed