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Sexy Selfies Being Shared As Revenge

file photo (Getty Images)

file photo (Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - President Obama’s selfie went viral. How about you?

The blogosphere went crazy after President Obama was photographed taking a selfie with Denmark’s prime minister at the memorial for Nelson Mandela. Selfies – pictures you take of yourself – are so ubiquitous that the word selfie was named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary last year. But, perhaps the word should have been “legal”, because along with the picture and places to send and post them, a new trend has also emerged: a trend called revenge porn, in which the person who receives your sexy selfie then posts it on line after you break up.

So what are your legal rights to force someone to take down the revenge porn? Not nearly as numerous.

You may be surprised to learn that only New Jersey and California have laws that make the posting of those pictures against the subject’s will illegal. Lawmakers in Florida, Maryland, Wisconsin and New York are currently debating making it a crime to post sexually explicit photos without the subject’s permission.

In all other states, your rights are not as clear so, if you find your picture on line, contact the site and ask to have it taken down, then contact your state attorney general to see what rights you have if the site refuses to remove it.

What is clear is that, like President Obama, a picture taken in a snap can have longer term consequences.

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