1,000 People In Denmark Face Revenge Porn Charges After Crackdown On Social Media Usage

"It's a very big and complex matter that has taken a long time to investigate," said an inspector.

More than 1,000 people in Denmark have been charged after police began a crackdown on the sharing of images without consent on various social media platforms including Facebook. According to Mashable, this is the largest case of its kind.

Police say that sexually explicit videos of 15-year-olds were disseminated on Facebook Messenger. The video was shared hundreds of times. Of the 1,004 facing charges for sharing the content, about 800 are male. It remains unclear if all of those being charged are citizens of Denmark.

Although the age of consent in Denmark is 15, police may pursue child pornography charges for those involved with the video's distribution. Most of the individuals facing criminal charges are between the ages of 15 and 29.

"It's a very big and complex matter that has taken a long time to investigate. Not least because of the large number of charged. We have taken the case very seriously as it has major implications for those involved when such material is spread. And it must be stopped," said police inspector Lau Thygesen from North Zealand Police in a press statement.

Facebook received complaints about the video, in turn notifying police in the United States. American officials sent information about the situation to the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), who passed it on to Danish police. The Danish police began their own investigation under the name "Umbrella."

Denmark has begun to more stricly enforce revenge porn laws following the passing of a series of policies targeted at punishing those who non-consensually share sexual images — a crime that is now punishable by up to two years in prison.

Facebook has similarly committed to counteract revenge porn, using image-matching technology to prevent the spread of images that have been reported.

In a socio-legal analysis revenge porn was been specifically defined as "an act whereby the perpetrator satisfies his anger and frustration for a broken relationship through publicizing false, sexually provocative portrayal of his / her victim, by misusing the information that he may have known naturally and that he may have stored in his personal computer, or may have been conveyed to his electronic device by the victim herself, or may have been stored in the device with the consent of the victim herself; and which may essentially have been done to publicly defame the victim."

The term has been more colloquially used to describe the sharing of sexually explicit image's without the creator's consent. 

Laws prohibiting revenge porn have been created in Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom, thirty-four states of the United States, and the Australian states of Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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