USI calls for tougher laws on 'revenge porn'

USI calls for tougher laws on 'revenge porn'

The Union of Students in Ireland is calling on the Government to change the law to protect victims of “revenge porn”.

It has also urged young people to respect the privacy and dignity of anyone they are intimate with.

“Gardaí have an extremely limited scope to act on revenge porn,” said USI President Annie Hoey.

Annie Hoey
Annie Hoey

“While there is very strong legislation and consequences for child victims, there isn’t much legal protection for adult victims.

“In terms of privacy and public safety, Irish law is absolutely clear and protective for child victims who have been harassed, bullied or engaged with in a sexual manner – either in conversation or physically, and the distribution of images of a paedophilic nature; but when adults have their privacy violated online and become the subject of shared intimate photos or footage, their legal protection is much weaker.

“USI is against any type of non-consensual footage being shared on any platform. We are urging the government to take action and change the law to protect the victims of revenge porn.”

Read: Revenge porn 'makes you feel you've lost control of your life', says victim

USI said ‘revenge porn’ is not a copyright issue, as the sharer might be the owner of the content so copyright violation doesn’t apply.

Annie Hoey said even if the content is destroyed in its original source, social media sharing just takes one click and things can go viral in seconds and spiral out of control almost immediately.

“We are urging students and young people to respect the privacy and dignity of anyone they are intimate with. Revenge porn is a disgusting violation of trust and privacy.” Hoey said.

“Those who contribute to this violation include the hacker, the hosting website, users who view the content, people who share the content and news reports that tell you where to find it.”


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