Revenge porn in the Italian regulatory and social context: new crime or old blackmail?


  • Giovanna Ricci
  • Giulio Nittari
  • Anna Maria Caraffa
  • Francesca Corticelli
  • Filippo Gibelli
  • Ascanio Sirignano



Revenge porn is the online publication on websites of explicit photographs or videos taken in intimate moments without the person’s consent. It is a new form of gender-based violence, as the majority of victims are women. This phenomenon has been growing in recent years due to the increase in popularity and spread of social networks. Since the start of social distancing mea-sures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the problem has undoubtedly become more serious. The most affected groups are women and adolescents. Phenomena such as revenge porn and cyber-bullying are aberrant aspects of online relationships. Although different in their specificity, they have many elements in common, which, unfortunately, in some cases, have led to dramatic out-comes, pushing the victims to suicide. This contribution aims at fully framing the issue from a social point of view and outlining its legal characteristics with reference to the European and Italian legal framework, starting from the analysis of the data presented within the report presented on 24 November 2020 by the Italian Ministry of Justice, containing a statistical analysis of the impact in terms of diffusion of the revenge porn phenomenon one year after the entry into force of the law of 19 July 2019 (the so-called “Codice Rosso”), which introduced the specific crime of unlawful dissemination of sexually explicit images or videos.