Men who send ‘d**k pics’ to strangers face two years in jail

Men who engage in cyber-flashing by sending ‘d**k photographs’ to strangers will now face up to two years in prison and will be required to sign the sex offenders registry as a result of a legislation change in England and Wales.

When a person receives an unwanted sexual image on their mobile device from an unknown individual nearby via social media, messaging, or other sharing services such as Airdrop, it is known as cyber-flashing.

According to Mail Online, despite the conduct being made criminal in Scotland 12 years ago, there is currently no law in England and Wales that specifically tackles cyber-flashing. However, there is already a push to incorporate cyber-flashing in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which will include penalties for indecent exposure in public.

Someone who exposes himself with the goal of causing ‘alarm or distress’ will be charged with a crime. The victim can be a complete stranger or someone the perpetrator knows.

Researchers cautioned that a lack of adequate accountability and identity-checking methods were contributing to foster online sexual harassment of young people, prompting the new proposal.

Ministers had considered included cyber-flashing in the Online Safety Bill, a draft bill released last week that will require web firms to protect their customers by cracking down on unlawful conduct on their platforms. However, due to concerns about having the Online Safety Bill passed into law this year, the government will now utilize another, more minor piece of legislation, according to The Times.

If a cyber-flasher sends an image of someone else’s genitals, it is accepted that they may still be held guilty.

Non-consensual image-sharing activities were “especially ubiquitous, and consequently normalised and accepted,” according to a study published by the University College London Institute of Education in December, adding to “shockingly low” rates of reporting online sexual abuse.

Researchers interviewed 144 boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18 in focus groups and 336 in a survey about digital image sharing. 37% of the 122 girls polled said they have received an unwelcome sexual image or video on the internet.

Three out of every four girls in the focus groups had also received an explicit photo of male genitals, the bulk of which had been ‘unwanted.’

Snapchat was the most common platform used for image-based sexual harassment, according to the survey findings.



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