Urged on by Hollie Toups, Texas lawmakers aim to crack down on ‘revenge porn’

Mar 12, 2015
Crime
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The Relationship Privacy Act will now go to the Calendar Committee, in efforts to get the bill on the floor.

AUSTIN, Texas – In the seedy underbelly of the internet, revenge is personal.

Websites promoting explicit photos posted by jilted lovers can turn a handy profit, especially when the photos are of superstar actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence. But what happens when the photos are of you?

“If you could write down every negative emotion that exists it was all at once,” said Hollie Toups, who saw her photos on a now-defunct “revenge porn” site in 2012. “It’s like I couldn’t hear, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t feel and my hands were just hovering over the computer in shock, mostly. And there were so many questions, like how, why. And that was the big question. Why?”

Hollie Toups describes the feeling that came over her when she first saw nude photos of herself online. "If you could write down every negative emotion that exists, it was like I couldn't hear, I couldn't speak, I couldn't feel, and my hands were just hovering over the computer in shock, said Toups.

Hollie Toups She along with over a dozen other women affected are taking the issue to the legislature. House Bill 496 and Senate Bill 1135 are being filed at the same time, and have been gaining plenty of traction.

Toups says she was shocked to see not only her photos, but her name, city, workplace and social media contact information as well. Photos of other women were accompanied by more information – such as car make and model and license plate numbers. After contacting the website’s operators, Toups says she was told the photos would be taken down for a $500 charge.

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