The BBC reported last week that a woman has been accused of live streaming a rape on Periscope.

Revenge porn is becoming more and more prevalent, and I have previously written blogs on revenge porn. If you choose to share videos or still images of an intimate nature involving an ex-partner using social media you now run the risk of a significant damages claim being brought against you.

This latest story is yet another example of how technology is being abused to increase the distress of victims of sexual offences.

In this particular case a woman has been charged with streaming the rape of a teenage girl. The American woman is accused of taking an indecent photograph of the 17 year old girl and then live streaming the sexual assault of the girl by her partner.

People have a strange fascination with sharing images of themselves whilst engaged in criminal activity. Other incidents recently reported include a woman who streamed herself as she drove home drunk, a murderer who broadcast footage of himself from a US Jail and teenagers who streamed footage of themselves robbing a van. On each occasion the platform used was Periscope.

This most recent case highlights how social media is pushing the boundaries of the abuse work that we specialise in. Dr Joss Wright from the Oxford Internet Institute confirmed,

“The volume of content being created and uploaded everyday is far too great to be regulated manually and automatic systems are simply too inaccurate to be practical”

There is therefore no way at present that victims can be protected by platforms such as Facebook and Periscope from this type of abuse. The one small comfort for victims of this type of crime is that the civil courts are now likely to recognise their entitlement to damages following the case of ABC v West Heath 2000 Ltd and Whillock.

If you have been affected by “revenge porn” or the sharing of sexually explicit images without consent on the internet, our specialist department would be happy to provide you with advice on the possibility of a damages claim. Please contact us  for more information,