“Revenge porn” is the common term used to describe the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. It is also called image based abuse.

Is sharing intimate images/videos of others illegal?

Image based abuse can be an offence under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, as well as a potential offence under other Acts. It can also be an offence to threaten to share images or videos without consent. It can still be an offence if the person originally shared or made the images/video with someone consensually, but they didn’t give consent for them to be shared to a wider group or publicly.

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 are intimate images?

Intimate images/videos can be of someone nude or semi-nude – for example, in underwear. Often these images are produced and shared with someone consensually. This doesn’t mean that the person has consent to share them with others under the law.

Image based abuse can also include altered images or videos to make it appear that a person is in an intimate image/video they didn’t produce.

What to do if you’re affected

If someone has shared an intimate image/video of you without your consent, you can make a report to the police. The police will be able to talk to you about criminal offences under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

If you would like help getting the content removed online you can contact Netsafe. We can also explain to you the options available to you and talk to you about the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

To help get the content removed, we won’t necessarily need copies of the image/video, but we will need you to supply URLs to the content and to describe which image/video it is. This is so that we can explain to the platform which content we are requesting they remove. Our helpline is free and confidential, and we regularly deal with these types of reports. Call us toll-free on 0508 NETSAFE or email help@netsafe.org.nz

 

Other actions 

  1. Screenshot the content if possible and make a record of the URL of the content
  2. Report the content to the platform that it’s on if you’re able to (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 if you would like further information on the options available to you – call toll-free on 0508 NETSAFE

Contact Netsafe

  • Email help@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.

How to report to:

FAQs

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

Even if intimate images/video are produced consensually, it can be 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