Today’s columnist, Karishma Ravalia: Truth about revenge porn

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A few weeks ago Channel 4 aired a programme about Revenge Porn – an act where your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend posts an inappropriate picture of you on the web.

Watching it I was struck by first of all how many people do it and then how many people view the images. I knew that revenge porn was happening but I didn’t realise how big a problem it was.

It’s shocking that someone could have that much resentment towards another person to share private photographs online. But it’s even more shocking that people sit there to view them.

In the documentary someone who had been a victim of revenge porn was spoken to.

Watching it I couldn’t even begin to imagine how she must have felt.

What it must have been like to have thousands of people seeing you like that, having to tell your family that this has happened. It seems unimaginable but the truth is, it does happen to so many people.

The presenter Anna Richardson also took some images of herself and posted them online in order to understand the concept herself and again the results were shocking.

She took part in a group activity where people read out comments left on revenge porn sites. Again, these comments were shocking, some disturbing perhaps and I couldn’t believe that people had written them.

It got me thinking if people would say these to someone’s face or whether the internet was being used to hide.

The documentary also explored the idea of whose fault it was for taking explicit images and sending them to a partner. Some argued that once you send images like this, it’s your responsibility and you should know the consequences.

Others said that it definitely wasn’t the fault of the person who took them, which personally I 100 per cent agree with.

If you take explicit images and send to a partner you’re doing so in total privacy and the understanding is that no-one will see them. It’s part of trusting the other person.

For Anna Richardson, the whole point of the documentary was for her to understand revenge porn better. And even as a viewer I feel like I understand it more.

It opened my eyes to how much it happens and how easy it is to just upload pictures and have it circulate around the world within minutes.

It just takes one click and it’s out there.

* Karishma Ravalia, Journalism Student