Walrus TV: Cyberbullying and Revenge Porn

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Originally appeared on The Walrus 

The internet has spawned a whole new set of terminology, including words like “cyberbullying” and “revenge porn”—two words that describe the dark side of the internet age. The difference between a private message to a partner and sharing photos with the global public is now just a few clicks.

“Social media has changed the coming-of-age process in the sense that a lot more of it is happening in public now,” says Women in Toronto Politics founder Steph Guthrie. “Girls feel pressured to post sexy images, and then they get shamed for posting sexy images.”

In the case of revenge porn, exes post these images without the consent of their partners after the relationship goes sour. Experts agree that when these images are shared—whether it is privately or publicly—there’s no turning back. Content on the internet lives forever, even if our relationships don’t.

Law professor Danielle Citron says that many harassment victims have changed their names due to the permanency of their shamed online identity. “It’s like they have to declare bankruptcy on their old life,” she says. “They need a new name in which to build a new online identity.”

With the recent arrest of revenge porn king Hunter Moore, these issues are garnering more public attention raising questions like:

Who is responsible for policing these crimes? Should we adjust our expectations about privacy or can we catch up with the ever-evolving technical landscape to protect ourselves and loved ones?

In partnership with Walrus TV, RdigitaLIFE talks to director of the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute Avner Levin, Future of Privacy Forum director Jules Polonesky,  Forbes privacy columnist Kashmir Hill, law professor Danielle Citron, and Women in Toronto Politics founder Steph Guthrie, to shed some light on the dark side of the internet.

 

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