Distribution of sexualized images

The right to sexual self-determination and the right to one's own image can be violated if intimate media content is disseminated without the consent of the person concerned.  

Revenge porn and sexting

One example of this is so-called  revenge porn. This can affect anyone who has exchanged intimate images of themselves with their (ex-)partners. For example, pictures or videos that show them during a sexual act. Such content is often shared consensually in the context of sexting exchanged. The term consists of the words "sex" and "texting" and describes the sending and receiving of self-produced, revealing images.

Revenge porn is when the person who has been dumped publishes this content on the internet after a break-up. The aim is to expose and shame the person concerned. The recordings are distributed via messenger or uploaded to porn sites, for example. Sometimes even the link to the social media profile and personal data such as the name of the person concerned are also published.

Thedecisive factor is that these intimate images were initially recorded with the mutual consent of both parties and were only intended for the persons involved. In the case of revenge porn, the publication takes place without the consent of the person concerned and is therefore an act of digital sexual violence against that person. The publication of recordings from the highly personal sphere is punishable in Germany (Section 201a StGB). Offenders face not only fines, but also prison sentences in particularly serious cases. When it comes to nude images of children (up to the age of 13) or adolescents (14 to 17), this is the creation, possession or distribution of child or youth pornography (Section 184 b or c StGB). If children are involved, the minimum sentence is one year's imprisonment. If juveniles are involved, a fine or prison sentence may be imposed.

Case study from jugendschutz.net

One offender created a website on which he uploaded sexting videos of his 14-year-old ex-girlfriend. He also published the ex-girlfriend's full name, links to two social media accounts, her address and telephone number on the website. He also claimed that she offered sexual services for money. He distributed the address to the website via Instagram.

Cyberflashing and dickpics

There are also cases in which young people are unintentionally confronted with intimate or sex-related media content. Cyberflashing describes the unsolicited sending of explicit images depicting genitals. One widespread form is so-called "dickpics", i.e. penis pictures. Such images are often sent to little-known or completely unknown people, for example via dating apps, messengers or social media. This is usually done for reasons of power and exhibitionism. According to Section 184 StGB , this is a criminal offense. Here, too, there is a risk of fines or even imprisonment. The penalty increases if minors are involved.

Case study from jugendschutz.net

In "random cam chats", video chat partners are brought together by chance. Well-known providers include Chatroulette and Omegle (now shut down). These services are repeatedly in the press because a high number of men can be found masturbating in front of the camera. Particularly problematic: these services are also used by children and young people.