Ethical dilemma for editors as revenge porn law does not give victims anonymity

New legislation that makes posting revenge porn a criminal offence may cause an ethical dilemma for editors.
 
The Criminal Courts and Justice Act 2015 does not provide complainants with anonymity in media reports.
 
Victims of most other web-related sexual offences receive automatic anonymity under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. And the government has shown a willingness to extend this level of protection to other sensitive offences by providing identity bans on women who complain of female genital mutilation under the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003).
 
The lack of protection from publicity may deter victims from making a complaint to the police. And media coverage could draw even more attention to the offensive images, and make a complaint counter-productive.
 
Solicitor Nicholas Dent, of Kingsley Napley said: "Unless the complainant is provided anonymity, either he or she may be unwilling to make a complaint to the police. It would be embarrassing enough for the subjects of the material to have their photographs or videos published – but there is an additional level of embarrassment involved in giving evidence, with the risk that it may be reported in the press. 
 
"It seems that there is a persuasive reason for there to be a specific anonymity provision for this offence."
 
As things stand, the only options for revenge porn complainants is to apply for anonymity under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, under certain circumstances. 
So editors must be prepared for victims to ask them to provide anonymity voluntarily. There’s certainly an ethical argument for doing so.
 
 
 
 
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