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NNEDV Praises Facebook for Banning Nonconsensual Pornography

March 21, 2015

On Monday, Facebook re-released their rules for community standards and, for the first time, will actively ban nonconsensual pornography (also referred to as “revenge porn”).

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) praises Facebook for prohibiting the sharing of sexually explicit images without consent. This policy is a step in the right direction for victims whose photos and videos are often shared by abusers with the intent to harass, humiliate, or harm. Once images become viral online, victims are even more at risk for abuse and victimization. While abusers have used other forms of online harassment for years, the sharing of sexually explicit images of victims online to exploit and harm is increasing.

“Long before the Internet, an abuser would issue a range of devastating threats: ‘If you leave me, I will kill the beloved family pet, kidnap the children, get you fired, ruin you financially, or destroy your reputation,’” explains Cindy Southworth, Executive Vice President at NNEDV. “The Internet allows offenders to terrorize their victims in front of a global online audience.”

With this policy change, Facebook recognizes that sharing sexually explicit images without consent is harmful to victims. We applaud Facebook for being one of the few social media sites to condemn nonconsensual pornography and for enhancing victims’ privacy and safety through these new and improved policies.

Since 2010, NNEDV’s Safety Net team has worked with Facebook to address issues of safety and privacy for survivors, serving as advisors on their Safety Advisory Board since 2010, and actively encouraging Facebook to address domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking on their platform. We urge other social media platforms to develop appropriate and safe policies on the issue of nonconsensual pornography so survivors can continue to use these online spaces safely.

For more information and resources on the connection between technology and domestic violence, visit NNEDV’s Technology Safety blog.