Kevin Bollaert, 28, who is the creator of a revenge porn website, will be facing 18 years in prison. Bollaert is being charged for 21 counts of identity theft and six counts of extortion. Bollaert started a website called UGotPosted.com where he would post photos that were sexually explicit, usually women, with personal information. He would include names, addresses, phone numbers, and Facebook profiles. He would then charge $350 for the photos to be taken down. At his trial victims testified against him.

Bollaert’s website was shut down in December 2013, advancing the fight against revenge porn websites. A report by The Washington Post says “Web site owners are not legally responsible for content posted on their sites by users because of a law called the Communications Decency Act. It’s what allows Twitter to let people post freely or why this story can have a comments section.” However, if someone to, they could take legal action against someone who has posted something without their permission.

The government is not trying to change that. Bollaert was based in California, which is one of the 17 states that has laws against revenge porn. However, because Bollaert was arrested two months after the law was put into the effect, he was not charged for this. Identity theft and extortion are still appropriate charges for Bollaert. One woman who testified against Bollaert said that when the photo of her was taken and posted, she was still underaged. Therefore, this photo is technically child porn. She also said that her phone would go off every couple of minutes where men would say inappropriate things to her.

Websites like Twitter, Reddit and even Facebook have changed their policies about pornography on their sites. This is the direction the government and popular websites are heading to stop revenge porn. It doesn’t physically hurt the victims, but it is a traumatizing experience. Hopefully this will prevent any future victims from getting hurt.

Photo Via flickr/ Andrew Bardwell

 

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