Emory Law Journal


People are marvelously inventive in devising new ways to hurt each other. Some of these new ways involve speech. The Supreme Court has recently declared that speech is protected by the First Amendment unless it is a type of communication that has traditionally been unprotected. If this is the law, then harms will accumulate and the law will be helpless to remedy them. Revenge pornography prohibitions raise a serious free speech problem. They suppress truthful information, and they do so in order to prevent audiences from being persuaded, by that information, to form a viewpoint with which government disagrees: specifically, that this woman is a despicable whore because she allowed this picture to be taken. The harm that this speech causes is, however, so severe that an exception to ordinary free speech principles is justified.