With the increasing popularity of online dating and the prevalence of smartphone cameras, more and more people are taking explicit photos of themselves or their partners. Unfortunately, some people choose to use those private images as leverage to control or hurt their former partner after a relationship ends.

Irresponsible partners may upload private images or videos onto the internet or share them directly with their former partner’s social circle. While the original sender may have sent the photos under the unspoken or verbal agreement that they would not be shared with others, this does not always prevent the receiver from posting them on the internet.

The term for this behavior is “revenge pornography.” There are no federal statutes prohibiting revenge porn at this time, which means that only state laws currently prohibit this practice.

So what has South Carolina done to ban or criminalize revenge porn?

State lawmakers have introduced bills to ban revenge porn

This issue is not a new one, although it has become one that more people are openly discussing as it becomes more common. There is currently a state bill pending that would criminalize revenge porn or the distribution of intimate images and videos of someone else without their consent. State lawmakers introduced the bill earlier in the 2019-2020 legislative session, but the bill has yet to go for a vote.

It’s important that people realize that although there may not currently be state-mandated criminal consequences for the non-consensual distribution of intimate content, that could soon change. Even in the interim, those who engage in such behavior could still find themselves facing a lawsuit or other enforcement efforts initiated by the person in the images or videos.