ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Some people call it a visual assault. According to a Pew Research study, 31 percent of Americans received a lewd image they did not ask for. New legislation could criminalize that.
The Cyber Flashing legislation would make it illegal to send unsolicited intimate images. The offender would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor- required to pay a $500 fine and take a sexual harassment prevention course.
Christy Foster was a victim of receiving a lewd photo. “I get an airdrop request on the subway and look down and it’s an incredibly graphic, private image, instantly I’m thinking like how close is this person to me, and I just felt deeply uncomfortable and unsafe and so I exited the subway car pretty quickly.”
Foster says people know they can get away with sending lewd images. Bumble is working to prevent that. The dating app has successfully lobbied anti flashing legislation in Texas and Virginia.
Payton Iheme, a Policy leader for Bumble says, soon after their app was launched, Bumble users reported receiving explicit photos. The company solved this issue by installing a private detector tool and is now pushing for legislation across the rest of the Internet.
“It’s a great history here of men and women working on harms online and in real life and we think this is the natural next place for the bill to be passed,” she said.
Iheme says if you do receive an unwanted photo, make sure to save it, and make note of the date and sender if possible. This will help if you do decide to move forward with charges