Sharing nude photos without consent, online shaming often unpunished
Almost two years since the Netherlands banned sharing nude photos of others online without consent, many offenders are still going unpunished, TV program Pointer reported. The law against "online shaming" should make it easier to tackle perpetrators. Still, this is often impossible in practice because of the anonymity on platforms like Telegram, the police said to the TV program.
Pointer examined four "expose" groups on Telegram, where hundreds of damaging photos and videos are posted every day to be viewed by tens of thousands of members. Members of those four groups shared 162 sexually explicit photos and 102 videos daily. Victims' phone numbers were also shared with the aim of bullying or approaching them for sex.
The police are trying to track down perpetrators but have limited capacity. Getting information from online platforms is also a challenge, police officer Kristian Harmelink said to Pointer.
"To find the perpetrators, we have to demand data from platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Telegram. Those companies are located abroad, so that doesn't happen within a week. Colleagues in Germany and Belgium also make these kinds of requests. In addition, platforms have a certain responsibility towards their users. It is not the case that the information we demand is given indiscriminately," Harmelink said.
"It's not a pretty picture we found there," Justus Cooiman of Pointer said about the Telegram groups. "The groups have tens of thousands of members who share everything. Telegram says it is not responsible for the content in the groups. And the police have a hard time contacting Telegram."