“Revenge porn” is the common term used to describe the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. It’s a form of online sexual harassment and can be an offence under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, as well as a potential offence under a number of other Acts.

The public sharing of explicit images online without a person’s consent has become one of the scourges of a digital society. Most revenge porn incidents that are reported to Netsafe have come about after relationship breakdowns. People have created the images/videos in a trusting environment, but it has been shared after the relationship has broken down. It can be a very distressing situation, and we suggest that people think carefully and consider the risks that can come from the existence of intimate images or videos before producing them.

Revenge porn is also closely linked to sexploitation. This is when somebody uses the threat to release of intimate images or video to control and/or blackmail another person. Threatening to release intimate images can also be an offence under the Act.

What to do if you’re affected

  1. Screenshot the content if possible
  2. Immediately report the content to the platform that it’s on (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.)
  3. Report the profile/account of the person who shared the content to the platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.)
  4. Contact Netsafe to report the content and discuss the options available to you – call toll-free on 0508 NETSAFE

How to report to:

Report to Netsafe

  • Email queries@netsafe.org.nz
  • Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Complete an online report form at netsafe.org.nz/report

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends and public holidays.

FAQs

Is revenge porn illegal in New Zealand?

The Police may prosecute a person or company under the Harmful Digital Communications Act if:

  1. They intended the communication to cause harm; and
  2. It is reasonable to expect that a person in the position of the targeted individual would be harmed by it; and
  3. The targeted individual suffered serious emotional distress.

What if I sent the images/video to the person, or we created them together? 

Even if intimate images/video are produced consensually, it is an offence to share them without consent. Even if an image/video was shared with another individual, this does not mean that person has consent to share it with others under the law.

What are the penalties if people are prosecuted?

If prosecuted under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, the penalties for this offence can be a fine of up to $50,000 or up to two years’ jail for an individual, and up to $200,000 for a body corporate. The majority of the criminal prosecutions for the Harmful Digital Communications Act in its first 18 months were for revenge porn incidents.

What should I do if someone sends me intimate images/videos?

Do not share intimate images of other people without their consent. If you come across intimate images of others unintentionally, delete it immediately and do not pass it on. If you have shared intimate content of someone online without their consent delete it immediately. If you have done this, and would like to discuss the issue you can contact Netsafe for information.

How can Netsafe help?

We can talk to you about the situation and let you know what options are available to you. If appropriate, we can work with the other person/people involved to reach a resolution, and may be able to contact online content hosts to request that the content be removed.

CONTACT NETSAFE

Need help or advice? Contact us.

  • Email queries@netsafe.org.nz
  • Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Online report form at netsafe.org.nz/report

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends.

More information