SOCIETY

Can This Website End Revenge Porn?

With the help of tech giants like Facebook, California Attorney General Kamala Harris has launched an online resource to help victims of revenge porn get their naked photos taken down

Oct 14, 2015 at 2:44 PM ET

Yet another revenge porn website has launched—but this one is actually designed to help victims.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Wednesday unveiled the site in an effort to connect victims with resources, educate law enforcement and provide technology companies with best practices for addressing non-consensual pornography. It’s the result of a nine-months-long partnership involving 50 major tech companies, victim advocates, legislators and law enforcement.

“Posting intimate images online without consent is a cowardly crime that humiliates and belittles victims,” said Harris in a statement ahead of a press conference held Wednesday. “These new tools will assist law enforcement in combating cyber exploitation and support victims in seeking justice.”

How, you might ask? It gives law enforcement a primer on relevant laws governing what Harris’ office refers to as “cyber exploitation” and connects victims with the revenge porn policies of several of the initiative’s tech company partners, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as companies like 4chan, Flickr and Snapchat. Links and contact information are given for take-down requests. It’s a one-stop shop for removing pornographic images of yourself from the Internet.

There are limits to what this website, and its accompanying #EndCyberExploitation “digital campaign,” can do. In part that’s because there’s only so much that tech companies can do—as Google’s revenge porn policy puts it, “Removal of the content from the source is the only way to actually get the content removed from the web.”

That area beyond those limits are where legislation and litigation can come in. This year in California, two laws relating to cyber exploitation were passed and three men were sentenced to a total of 14 years imprisonment in revenge porn cases. Someone tell that to the anonymous man who is reportedly planning to relaunch the notorious revenge porn site Pink Meth.