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It will soon be illegal to electronically send unsolicited nude images in the state of Virginia unless solicited by the receiver.
“We are thrilled to have helped spearhead this monumental moment in Virginia,” Payton Iheme, Bumble’s Head of Public Policy for the Americas, told WUSA 9. “Living in a digital-first world means that penalties don’t typically apply to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people online, and this bill is a step in that direction.”
State lawmakers passed a bill backed by popular dating app Bumble, which will penalize any person over the age of 18 years if they send an unsolicited nude image.
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Violators will be “liable to the recipient of the intimate image for actual damages or $500, whichever is greater, in addition to reasonable attorney fees and costs,” according to the bill.
It was introduced by Democratic State Sen. Jennifer McClellan and will go into effect July 1 of this year. The bill was listed among hundreds of other bills Gov. Glenn Youngkin approved on April 11.
Bumble previously worked with Texas lawmakers on a similar and successful bill, and it is currently working on legislation in California, Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania, a spokesperson told WUSA 9.
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The efforts were spurred by a survey the company ran that found one in three women have received a lude image and 96% of those women said the image was unwanted, according to 7 News.