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Maya Forstater accused of revenge porn against transgender person

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Maya Forstater accused of revenge porn against transgender person
A press photo of Maya Forstater

Maya Forstater is being accused of posting revenge porn by the transgender community. We have been careful throughout this article to not refer or link to anything that could identify the victim.

Maya Forstater is currently locked out of her Twitter due to tweets which include the full nude images of a transgender person. Images which have led to accusations of revenge porn being levied against her.

Maya Forstater posted the images claiming that she did so due to safeguarding, as the person in them works at a charity that supports children. Though their job title seems to indicate that they do not have much direct interaction with children themselves.

Many are defending Maya Forstater from revenge porn allegations due to the images being somewhat easy to find online, with the right information. However this is not a good defense in my opinion as Maya Forstater – and many others – still took those images out of their original context and publicised them with the intent of doing harm to the individual in them.

According to one legal website the behaviour Maya Forstater engaged in could absolutely constitute revenge porn. However that same website also offers up some defences which could reasonably be argued for in court. Specifically defenses 3 and 4 which read as follows;

  • It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that the disclosure was made in the course of, or with a view to, the publication of journalistic material, and he or she reasonably believed that it was in the public interest
  • It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that he or she reasonably believed that the photograph or film had previously been disclosed for reward, whether by the individual or another person, and he or she had no reason to believe that the previous disclosure for reward was made without the consent of the individual.

I am not a lawyer and can’t give you a legal opinion on anything, but I can give you my opinion on the justice system and cops in general. They usually don’t come down in favour of those who have engaged in sex work of any kind. The specific images that I would describe as revenge porn were posted in a publication and I can only assume that this was transactional.

So whereas I maintain that what Maya Forstater has done is to post sexual images of someone without their consent to around 70,000 followers on a platform of millions of people with the express view of causing them distress while targeting their job and that this is revenge porn and bad. The justice system wouldn’t necessarily agree and would rather protect the rights of people to engage in abusive behaviour than the rights of those being abused.

It’s actually completely shocked me to see so many people calling themselves feminists who are defending this behaviour. Whether you like transgender people or not, its a pretty dangerous move to start vilifying people for having previously engaged in any kind of sex work. The group of people who will suffer from this most often are women who have left sex work; should their lives be ruined now because years ago they sold nudes to put food on the table?

If I had to criticise something about this story I would criticise the fact that this person used their real name in connection with these nude images. This was originally easy to find on Twitter before the publication deleted the tweet. That’s not good practice at all, and I agree there is a concern that a child familiar with the person could’ve accidentally come across those images by searching their name, as a child might do.

However as previously noted this persons role is not one that likely interacts with children very much, if at all. It reads as an office job and so the concern I have for that is minimal. If you have done sex work previously under your real name and want to then go on to actually work with children? I would highly advise you ensure young people can’t stumble across your nudes by vigorously searching your own name on various platforms and working to have inappropriate content delisted.

Maya Forstater is currently off bemoaning being silenced or whatever it is transphobes do due to being locked out of her Twitter account. Which she could reaccess at any time by deleting the Tweets which contain someone else’s nude photographs. She could even repost them, albeit censored. It would still be a crappy thing to do with bigoted motivations, in my opinion, but it would at least not be full on revenge porn levels of bad. Nor would it break Twitter’s terms of service.