Why Leaking Nudes Online Will Land You In Jail, Ksh200K Fine
Just four weeks into 2023, Kenyans have been stunned by images and videos of celebrities alleged to be similar to the likes of...
Social media platforms, other than making communication between two or more people across the world, also give users the power of anonymity, which they often misuse for malicious purposes such as embarrassing those they once cherished, to get back at them for ruining their relationships.
Often, we have come across intimate images or videos of people we know on social media in compromising situations and this includes prominent people like politicians, celebrities or random people who fall victim to relational scorn or blackmail from those who have had access to their private images.
Just four weeks into 2023, Kenyans have been stunned by images and videos of celebrities alleged to be similar to the likes of Betty Kyallo and Azziad Nasenya, with the lone exception of Georgina Njenga (girlfriend to former Machachari star Tyler ‘Baha’ Mbaya), who had disclosed that her nude video was leaked onto the internet by a man who was studying at Kenyatta University (KU) who seemed not to be happy about her relationship with the actor who is also a content creator.
Whereas Kyallo and Georgina have announced that they promised to take action against the perpetrators, Nasenya chose to directly address her followers in a video on Monday, January 23, advocating for Kenyans to desist from spreading falsehoods about her, especially on such topics, as this can even expose one to cyberbullying.
Collage of Azziad Nasenya and porn actress Destiny Mira. /VIRALTEAKE
“I feel that it's 2023 and I’m over here minding my business and if you are over there minding my business, who is minding yours? We shouldn't be in the business of creating false information around such topics because if you are spreading such information then you’re being an enabler of cyberbullying which honestly is not cool,” she added.
“You should be rejoicing in things that make you a better individual rather than rejoicing in things that you feel are going to lead to the downfall of another person’s reputation.”
But many people are not aware that they can get legal recourse if their intimate images are shared online without their consent.
What is Revenge Porn?
Oxford dictionary defines revenge porn as posting revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person on the Internet, typically by a former sexual partner, without the consent of the subject and in order to cause them distress or embarrassment.
Scholars define revenge porn as the intentional embarrassment of identifiable individuals through the posting of nude images online, done out of motives of revenge for relational scorn. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media platforms or profiles.
Revenge porn is a type of cyber violence against women and girls, which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) had indicated has been increasing since 2015.
How Kenya Deals With Revenge Porn Cases
The Act makes it a punishable offence to post nude images on the Internet without the consent of the owner with an intent to cause emotional distress. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media profiles.
The Act under section 37 which creates the offence provides to wit; "A person who transfers, publishes, or disseminates, including making a digital depiction available for distribution or downloading through a telecommunications network or through any other means of transferring data to a computer, the intimate or obscene image of another person commits an offence and is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both."
The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a traditional way including the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.
The victim, in addition, may also sue the aggressor for defamation as well as breach of privacy. Article 33(3) of the Constitution provides that in the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, every person shall respect the rights and reputation of others, revenge porn violates this law.
Article 31 provides that every Kenyan has the right to privacy which includes the right not to have information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or the privacy of their communications infringed, a right also violated by revenge porn.
Revenge porn can have adverse effects on a person and may lead to suicide because of the victim’s low self-esteem.
Studies have indicated that revenge porn has serious mental health implications for victims, who must cope with long-term personal and psychological consequences, since the videos and images online may continue to haunt them throughout their lives.