How Google Killed a Bill Criminalizing Revenge Porn

A bill criminalizing revenge porn in New York died last week when the Senate adjourned for the year without voting on the issue. The bill, five years in the making, would have made revenge pornónon-consensual sharing of nude imagesóa misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

It would have also allowed victims to sue the websites hosting the images, so the morning the bill should have gone up for a vote, Google killed it. Instead of protecting crime victims, Google chose to protect itself.

The Internet Association, a lobbying group representing Google and other internet companies which host revenge porn, stepped in at the last minute and used its influence to kill the bill.

Currently in New York, there are laws preventing the dissemination of nude or sexually explicit photographs if the victim does not know the photo is being taken. However, the revenge porn bill would have also protected victims who willingly shared nude photographs with someone but did not consent to that person distributing them. New York City recently passed a bill similar to the one abandoned by the state.

One in 25 Americans has either been threatened with or been the victim of revenge porn. Not only is this humiliating for victims, but it can also lead to psychological trauma. The benefits of protecting victims of revenge porn did not, apparently, outweigh the potential costs to Google.

“Itís deeply disturbing that Google and tech lobbyists were quiet as a church mouse for the five years this bill has been percolating in Albany and then literally the morning itís up for vote, they bulldoze in with coercive demands on our lawmakers to change the language,”†said Carrie Goldberg, an attorney who helped create the bill. “Itís a disgrace how weak our lawmakers look for bowing down to these tech corporate overlords.”

Just three years ago, Google was praised for taking steps to prevent revenge porn from appearing in search results and creating a system for victims of revenge porn to get their images removed. Now, the tech giant doesnít want to be forced to accept any responsibility for the problem they helped to create.

“Big Tech, especially Google, created the revenge porn problem,” said Goldberg. “And now, just as we were about to enable victims to demand removal of their most intimate material from the internet via this law, Google renews its abuse.”

Though the bill passed the Assembly, it died in the Senate as a result of tech lobbyists actions. The billís only chance now is if the Senate comes back for a special session, though thereís no clear sign now that that will happen.

New Yorkís governor, Andrew Cuomo, had already promised to sign the bill if it made it to his desk, but it looks like that will not happen now.

Related at Care2

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

37 comments

Celine R
Celine R2 months ago

Facepalm.

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David F
David F2 months ago

The anti-American liberals should love Fake News Google.
Major news headlines that are negative to socialism and the Democrats soon become impossible to find on a Google search, but the spin articles remain forever.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson2 months ago

Horrible.

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Sherri S
Sherri S2 months ago

Shame on Google!

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Cathy B
Cathy B2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Winnie A
Winn A2 months ago

Thanks

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Winnie A
Winn A2 months ago

Noted

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Shirley S
Shirley S2 months ago

Google is at fault !

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Roxana Saez
Roxana Saez2 months ago

TYFS

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Anne Moran
Anne Moran2 months ago

When the chips are down,, of course Google will look after it’s best interest...

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