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Attention, Perverts: Here’s a Friendly Reminder that Revenge Porn is Illegal

You can be jailed for up to seven years.
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In another episode of perverts exposed on social media, another man has been named on social media for sending revenge porn of ex-girlfriends to groups with more than 300 strangers, going so far as to post the Facebook and Instagram IDs of his victims and encouraging strangers to harass these women.

By now, the Twitter thread regarding this particular case has probably made the rounds on social media, enraging netizens at the audacity of this one man. But the reality is, he’s just one of many. Social media might be toxic to most, but it’s also become a way to out the harassers of victims too afraid or ashamed to report cases of revenge porn or other intimate photos and videos. Predators like these are not uncommon—some have gone so far as to create entire Google drives with the names of victims labeling folders, and there are entire Telegram groups dedicated to revenge porn.

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The people behind Pastor Hokage haven’t stopped—they’ve just adapted now that everyone else is onto them. But one thing hasn’t changed: the fact that revenge porn is still illegal in the Philippines, U.S.A., South Korea, U.K., Israel, and a good part of the world.

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R.A. No. 9995

Should you ever find yourself a victim of revenge porn, harassment, or the sharing of intimate photos without your consent, remember Republic Act No. 9995: the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 and that you can sue any predators.

What does the law ban?

1| Taking photos, videos, or recordings of a person or people performing sexual acts without their consent or when the person/people expected privacy.

Meaning: playing peeping Tom is both creepy and illegal.

2| Reproducing, selling, or distributing these photos, videos, or recordings, regardless of whether it’s the original copy or a reproduction.

Meaning: even just sharing sexual content without the person’s knowledge or consent is illegal.

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3| Publishing, broadcasting, showing, or exhibiting photos, videos, or recordings of sexual acts without the concerned person’s consent through VCD, DVD, Internet, phones, and other similar means or device.

Meaning: uploading sexual content without the person’s consent can land you in jail.

What happens if a predator is caught and sued?

The penalty is a minimum of three years of imprisonment, up to seven years at most. There’s also a fine ranging from P100,000 to P500,000. And there’s more.

The workplace of the predator will also be affected. If the person who violates the law is a juridical person, his license or franchise will be revoked and the workplace’s officers will be held liable. If the person belongs to media, the editor, reporter, station manager, or broadcast manager will be held liable. Violators who are public officers or employees will be held administratively liable, while aliens will be deported after serving his/her sentence and paying the fines.

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What Else Can You Do?

While a law is already in place to protect victims, the sad truth is that not many are willing to sue predators due to fear of reputation and shame. Filipino society has long had a stigma on being involved in a sex scandal. It’s a societal problem that’s stopped many victims from stepping forward and filing a case, in fear of their families and their standing in society, not to mention the mental trauma of going through court cases.

But there are still those who have pursued civil cases against their predators and won. It’s also good to know that friends and family are not helpless in these scenarios. You can support the victim by reporting links, folders, chats, groups, etc. on social media or messaging apps and take actions to ban violators on certain platforms.

Another way is to ask others to refrain from reacting or engaging with the predator’s attempts to share explicit content. Violators feed on attention, so might as well not give them any cause to feel proud.

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But the cycle of sexual victims and predators won’t stop until we put an end to the stigma on sex altogether and educate society on consent.

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Felix Herrera
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