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06.07.2019 Opinion

Deepfakes, Upskirting, Revenge Porn And The Law

By Komla Lokoe

In recent years, many young women's lives have been shattered completely through a number of ill-famed sexual abuses that occurred online.

Somehow, this isn’t surprising at all because society now regards sexual privileges as the reserved right for men. As such, this acclaimed right emboldens many men folks to indulge in unbridled immoral online activities that sought to turn women into sexual objects requiring male ab(use) and pleasure.

Among the many sexual abuses that have gained notoriety online, these days, are deepfakes, upskirting and revenge porn.

As the name denotes, deepfakes is when technology is used to copy videos or images from social media platforms and digitally alter them to make them appeared pornographic. Also, upskirting refers to taking a photo or filming underneath a skirt or dress of an unsuspecting woman without her consent. And lastly, revenge porn implies the application of threats and extortion tactics in the distribution of fake or real sexual images.

Suffice to say that in many African countries today, the kind of legislation that'll make the sharing of such intimate images online without consent illegal is still out of reach on the part of many young women thereby exposing them as victims without access to justice.

On regular basis, the experience and isolation the victims and survivors go through from the hands of their online molesters often keep them in endless traumas. Such conditions drastically sterilize all aspects of their lives and the lives of relatives who associate with them.

In fact, more often than not such abuses completely disrupt the victim’s entire social life because of the feeling of being let down by inadequate legislations.

From the foregoing, while it seems that the perpetrators involved aren't relenting, and the harm caused by their vile activities are still on the increase, it therefore makes the real extent and nature of the damage to become devoid of any relevant remedy

For this reason, any introduction of a comprehensive legislation that'll safeguard women against the image- and video-based sexual abuses that people share on social media would be acceptable - regardless of the motivations behind its practice.

As it is now, it's obviously true that, until recently, victims of these sexual offences enjoy little or no protection under Ghanaian laws because the limitations in those laws is makes it difficult for the police who're the primary enforcers of the law to take actions.

Fortunately, in more recent time, it's quite refreshing to note that, just as online sexual abuses are attracting legal attention in many developed countries, the practice is gradually becoming outlawed in Ghana too.

As such, the recent sentencing of certain Prince by a Ghanaian court for sharing intimate and sexual images of his ex-fiancée on social media without her consent must be a great relief, particularly for all young women in Ghana.

So,, the next time it crosses anybody's mind to share any sexual video or image online either for the purpose of revenge or extortion, and or killing boredom, that person must think twice .

Kennedy Komla Lokoe

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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