Wednesday, July 6

Beware of forwarding intimate images on WhatsApp: the Law of “only yes is yes” will persecute those who help spread them

Sharing and disseminating intimate images or videos without consent will be punishable by imprisonment. And if those images have reached you through WhatsApp through third parties and you decide to share them again, the new Law of ‘only yes is yes’ also contemplates sanctions with economic fines.

The new ‘Comprehensive guarantee of sexual freedom Law’, which will be approved today Thursday in the plenary session of the Congress of Deputies, contemplates a modification of the Penal Code in which these penalties are incorporated.

Prison sentences of up to one year for disseminating intimate images. Last January, an amendment was incorporated, number 213, where the penalties for these cases are specified. It reads as follows: “Whoever, without the authorization of the affected person, disseminates, reveals or transfers to third parties images or audiovisual recordings of the person obtained will be punished with a prison sentence of three months to one year or a fine of six to twelve months. with their consent in a home or in any other place out of sight of third parties, when the disclosure seriously undermines the personal privacy of that person”.

Fine of up to three months if you receive those photos and share them with others. The first assumption is the person who has intimate photos and decides to send them by WhatsApp or by other means. This second case is for those people who receive that photo and, for whatever reason, decide to share it with other people. This modification of the Penal Code contemplates that these people who help that intimate image expand, are also punished.

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“The penalty of a fine of one to three months will be imposed on whoever, having received the images or audiovisual recordings referred to in the previous paragraph, disseminates, reveals or transfers them to third parties without the consent of the affected person,” the text points out.

If it is the couple who shares the photos or the victim is a minor, it will be worse. In the event that the person who disseminates the images is the spouse or a person who “has been linked to him by analogous emotional relationship, even without living together”, the penalties will be imposed in the upper half. The same will happen if the victim is a minor, a person with a disability or the acts have been committed for profit. In this last case, we can imagine if the content is forwarded, for example, through YouTube, with monetized videos.

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“When in doubt, refrain from forwarding any image without consent.” The main novelty of this law is that redistribution by third parties is included. Carlos Sánchez Almeida, Legal Director of the Platform for Freedom of Information (PLI), Explain that sending images without consent was already regulated in article 197.7 of the Penal Code, but that the novelty is in the redistribution of third parties. The expert’s recommendation is that “when in doubt, refrain from forwarding any image without the explicit consent of the affected person.”

Almeida states that “the problem with this reform is that the person who forwards the images does not have to know under what circumstances they were recorded, or if there is consent.” Despite everything, he believes that “the penalty is scant” and that a crime against moral integrity should also be applied in some cases.

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Fake profiles to harass or humiliate will also be punished. As EL Periódico de España advances, in amendment 133 a modification is added where the fact of using another person’s image without permission to harass, harass, or humiliate her. For example, “the creation of false profiles as a claim to Internet contact pages or paid pornography”.

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