SHARE

A Maryland lawmaker wants to criminalize “revenge porn.”

Wait … what’s that?

“Revenge porn” is a term given to explicit photos, videos or other communications shared in public by angry ex-boyfriends/ husbands (or ex-girlfriends/ wives) after relationships go bad.

“They give their lover or their significant other a compromising picture of themselves, then the relationship ends, the trust is no longer there, and people post that information,” Baltimore Democrat Jon Cardin told WBAL TV 11 (NBC – Baltimore)

Cardin wants to make the publication of “revenge porn” a felony punishable by a $25,000 fine or a five-year prison term – part of a nationwide movement to criminalize this practice.

And yes you read that right … “felony,” “$25,000” and “five-year prison term.”

“The goal is for us to change people’s behavior,” Cardin told the station.

Right … because when have government efforts to “change behavior” ever posed a problem?

Cardin’s bill is one of many efforts across the nation to address “revenge porn,” because God knows governments are always looking for new things to criminalize. It’s also a centerpiece of his campaign for Attorney General of Maryland, an office that knows a thing or two about snapping pics.

Here’s the thing: Unlike a lot of porn floating around the world wide web “revenge porn” is generally obtained with consent. Willing consent. And this process generally doesn’t involve any legally binding prohibitions against the future dissemination of said material.

So … for some nanny stater to all of a sudden impose these draconian punishments on its purveyors strikes us as ludicrous.

There is a simple way to avoid the repercussions of “revenge porn” – namely, not making any porn for someone to use against you as revenge in the future. Seriously … it’s that easy.

UPDATE: Here’s an interesting middle-of-the-road take on the issue courtesy of Wired.