Criminalizing Revenge Porn

38 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2013 Last revised: 19 May 2023

See all articles by Danielle Keats Citron

Danielle Keats Citron

University of Virginia School of Law

Mary Anne Franks

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: May 19, 2014


Violations of sexual privacy, notably the non-consensual publication of sexually graphic images in violation of someone's trust, deserve criminal punishment. They deny subjects' ability to decide if and when they are sexually exposed to the public and undermine trust needed for intimate relationships. Then too they produce grave emotional and dignitary harms, exact steep financial costs, and increase the risks of physical assault. A narrowly and carefully crafted criminal statute can comport with the First Amendment. The criminalization of revenge porn is necessary to protect against devastating privacy invasions that chill self-expression and ruin lives.

Keywords: invasion of privacy

Suggested Citation

Citron, Danielle Keats and Franks, Mary Anne, Criminalizing Revenge Porn (May 19, 2014). Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 49, 2014, p. 345+, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-1, Available at SSRN:

Danielle Keats Citron (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Mary Anne Franks

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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