Fri | Dec 6, 2019

California lawmaker wants to ban sending unwanted nude pics

Published:Friday | November 22, 2019 | 11:17 AM

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) — When she was first elected to the California state Assembly, Ling Ling Chang publicly posted her cellphone number to get feedback from her constituents.

It worked, but it came with a dark side effect: unwanted nude photos from strangers.

Exposing yourself on the street is a crime, but the law is less clear when it happens in the digital realm.

Earlier this year, Texas outlawed sending unwanted nude photos to people through dating apps or other digital means, making it a Class C misdemeanour with a fine of up to $500.

Now Chang, who has since been elected to the state Senate, wants to make that act illegal in California.

The senator announced Thursday that she was partnering with the dating app Bumble to introduce legislation in January when state lawmakers return to work.

“I’d say 95% of the women I have talked to have experienced something like this,” said Chang, a Republican whose district includes portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

“We have to send a message that this culture of online harassment must go.”

A survey by the Pew Research Center in 2017 found 21% of women ages 18 to 29 have reported being sexually harassed online compared to 9% of men in that same age group.

About 53% of those women said they had been sent unwanted explicit photos.

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