Here we clarified key terms and definitions to understand the topic better.
“The AirDrop feature lets Apple users quickly transfer photos and files between iPhones, iPads, and Macs, as long as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both turned on and the devices are close to each other. Some people are using Apple’s AirDrop feature to send gross, explicit pictures to strangers.”
“Cyber flashing is the unsolicited sending of obscene images or video footage.”
“A dick pic is a photograph of someone’s penis, usually sent to another person by phone.”
“A pussy pic is a mobile picture message containing the female genitals or anus.”
“Zoombombing is a type of cyber-harassment in which an individual or a group of unwanted and uninvited users interrupt online meetings over the Zoom video conference app.”
Here are facts and figures on the topic.
A 2017 survey by Pew Research Center found 21% of women ages 18 to 29 report being sexually harassed online. Roughly 53% of those women said someone has sent them explicit images they didn’t ask for.
Women are often overwhelmingly the target of unsolicited dick pics.
Here are a few quick facts and some easy to understand information on this topic. Feel free to post to your social media accounts to get your friends involved.
Check out the following resources to learn more about cyber flashing and consent.
Did you receive an unwanted dickpic? Dickstinction will guide you through all the steps necessary to file a criminal complaint! It takes less than 5 minutes!
Read the parent factsheet to get more information on Cyber-flashing and how to keep your child safe, and what to do if it happens to them.
Watch this video from the Reuters Foundation and hear from those who have experienced cyberflashing and why we need action
This BBC Three documentary explores the impact that explicit images being shared maliciously without someone’s consent can have on victims and highlights support available to them.
Cyberflashing and consent are topics that are often misunderstood because of the myths surrounding them, here we want to clean up some of the most prominent misconceptions.
As Sophia Ankel explains in the New York Times, dick pics are NOT harmless. They are about “ the sexual harassment that women face online every day and the circumstances around which that is made normal. (…) Flashing your naked body on the street is indecent exposure – so why should it be excused online?”
Lawmakers are increasingly adopting legislation specifically targeting dick pics. Civil society (Dickstinction in Germany, Netzpigcok in Switzerland, Dick Pic Locator, etc.) are offering additional support to identify the perpetrators and file reports against them.
Check out these guidelines that help you to have conversations on consent.
Advice: Ask the person in question whether they want to receive pictures and be respectful towards their answer.
Advice: Restrict the AirDrop feature on your iPhone. In the main settings app, select “General,” and then “AirDrop.” Then select either “Receiving Off” or “Contacts Only.” The “Everyone” setting is when sexual harassers can send you photos.
Here we highlight prominent cases.
According to the British Newsoutlet “The Sun” Gillian Anderson has an assistant who shields her from explicit photos she is sent by men. The 53-year-old actress told how she is bombarded with “d*** pics” thanks to her raunchy role in Sex Education.
There are already a lot of countries with legislation supporting the disturbance through cyberflashing as an unwanted pornographic criminal offence. It is commonplace that women receive multiple of these photos, such as in the case of the actress Gillian Anderson. The fact that she had to shield herself with additional aids shows how aggravated the situation is online.
The first cases of cyber flashing were first reported starting 2015 in the UK. They tend to happen in crowded places such as public transportation, where the identification of the photo sent is immediately almost impossible. Since these first cases laws all around the world have started to take into account the issue of dickpics and to make them able to prosecute with the right legislation and tools.
Several countries have started to make legislation targeting unwanted dickpics a reality. Here is a non-exhaustive list of countries where the usage of unsolicited dickpics can be prosecuted effectively.
Dickstinction “provides quick legal help with unwanted dickpicks” by offering a quick, easyway to file a formal criminal complaint with the prosecutor’s office in Germany. Sending dick pics is criminalised by § 184 Nr. 6 StGB of the German Criminal Code, but like in other countries, few offenses are reported as victims often do not know that sending an unsolicited dick pic is a crime in Germany. Dickstinction aims to remove one barrier to reporting dick pics by making it easier to compose a criminal complaint.
Dickstinction “provides quick legal help with unwanted dickpicks” by offering a quick, easyway to file a Dick pics can be sent anonymously, which makes it trickier to identify the perpetrator and press charges against them. In 2017, Swedish developer Per Axbom developed the “Dick Pic Locator”, which allows survivors to extract metadata from the unsolicited photos received, to support the identification of the perpetrator or support proving their identity. However, this may not work if the sender is using a VPN.
(Dick Pic Locator)
A new offence of sexual exposure was also introduced. This offence criminalises the non-consensual exposure of genitals, whether in the physical or the virtual space, such as sending unsolicited images of genitals over an electronic medium to another person (also referred to as “cyber-flashing”).
(Ministry of Law Singapore)
In 2019, the state of Texas, US, banned unsolicited dick pics and made them a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to USD 500. The implementation of the law will be tricky, as it can be complicated to identify the author, and as dick pics fall under the protection of the First Amendment on Freedom of Expression (dick pics would not be protected if there were a true threat, incitement, or negligent defamation of [a] private person). Similar legislations have been introduced but have yet to be adopted, notably in New York and Pennsylvania.
(Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 21.19.)
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