Why Rob Kardashian’s Social Media Antics Could Land Him In Jail

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Yesterday, Rob Kardashian went on a social media tirade against his ex-fiancee/mother of his child Blac Chyna.

At first, it sounded like a jilted lover having diarrhea of the mouth.  What happened next, was illegal.  Kardashian’s obnoxious rant turned into something way more serious: photos revealing a topless Chyna and another of her genital area. They first appeared on Instagram until his account was suspended, then moved over to Twitter where he blasted the same rant and photos, which were public for 30 minutes. Kardashian has nearly 10 million followers on his social media accounts.

California’s penal code defines “image-based sexual abuse,” or “nonconsensual pornography,” as the intentional distribution of intimate photos or videos of another “identifiable person” that were intended to remain private and, when shared, caused “serious emotional distress.”

PC 647(j)(4) makes revenge porn a misdemeanor in California.

The basic penalties for a first offense are:

*Up to six (6) months in county jail; and/or

*A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000)

38 U.S. states have revenge porn laws.  In California, it is a misdemeanor.  In others, like Arizona, it is a felony.

Actress Mischa Barton, best known for her role in “The O.C.,” successfully used a restraining order against an ex-boyfriend who was threatening to sell a video of her involved in sexual activity that was tapped without her consent. Bravely speaking out about her experiences, Barton said “I came forward to fight this, not only for myself but for all the women out there. I want to protect them from the pain and humiliation that I have had to go through. No woman should have to go through this.”

Mischa’s lawyer Lisa Bloom also spoke on her behalf and said, ‘revenge pornography’ is a horrific crime: it’s a ‘form of sexual assault’.

A judge ruled that the act constituted a form of domestic violence.

Clare McGlynn Professor of Law at Durham University & co-founder of the Centre for Gender Equality across all Media, states in her Huffington Post Article titled ‘Revenge Porn’ Is A Form Of Sexual Assault:’

There are many sexual offenses which do not require sexual contact and, in light of technological advances, it is simply no longer sensible to separate offenses into ‘contact’ and ‘non-contact’. The harms can be as intense as other forms of sexual abuse.

Further, sexual violence is driven by power and control, with men believing that they have the right to sex, regardless of consent. Research has found that motives of perpetrators of sexual violence such as rape and sexual assault include: humiliation, grievances, and punishment, as well as entertainment recreation and sexual gratification. And most importantly, victims experience ‘revenge porn’ as a form of sexual assault.

So, revenge porn’ – or rather image-based sexual abuse – is a sexual offense. The harm comes from the fact that it is sexual images that are shared without consent; the images go viral because they are sexual. Non-sexual images would simply not have the same potency to cause harm; nor would thousands of others distribute these images. Sharing private sexual images without consent exploits an individuals’ sexual identity and infringes their sexual autonomy. The online abuse which accompanies distribution of private sexual images includes sexual threats (rape threats), as well as abusive comments about the victim’s appearance, body, sexuality and sexual agency. New research has shown how all different forms of image-based sexual abuse – including ‘revenge porn’, ‘upskirting’, sexual extortion, sexualized photoshopping – share common characteristics with other forms of sexual offending.