Monday 22 May 2017

Editorial: May, 2017

Oh dear, looks like I'm a bit late again with this month's editorial. Apologies if you actually do check in with little corner for my random thoughts and acknowledgements.

Once again I must thank everyone who keeps downloading our latest compilation so far, and give double thanks to those who have donated some money for it. If you have already downloaded it please recommend it to your friends. If you haven't got round to downloading it yet (and if you haven't where have you been so far?) and can just spare a £1 donation, it will all go towards kicking blood cancer's ass! If you can't donate, that's fine too, but please do make sure you check out more from the awesome band's that made this possible!

But what is my topic of conversation this month. Well anyone that knows me personally will know that I have been a photographer of sorts for ten years now, plus I previously worked at a Youth Offending Service. And with this in mind I'd like to talk about one thing that is absolute blight on the people I've been lucky to work with, and it seems women in general these days... the dick pic.

Thankfully I've never been subject to this lazy form of sexual offence... yet, and I am sure there are men that have been subjected to it as well. But it seems that every day I log in to Facebook to see both female models and non-models on my friends list naming and shaming the latest scumbag that thinks the anonymity of the internet gives him the right to flash his junk at anyone he wants.

First of all lets get back to the phrasing I used in the first line of the last paragraph – sexual offence – it is a sexual offence to expose yourself to anyone in a non-consensual form, whether in person or digitally. In the United Kingdom the digital side of this is covered by the Malicious Communications Act (1998 – updated 2003). This was originally to cover indecency / offensive articles by telephone and postal, but email and private messaging etc. now also fall under this category. See below from the CPS website:
“The Malicious Communications Act 1988 section 1, see Stones 8.20830, deals with the sending to another of any article which is indecent or grossly offensive, or which conveys a threat, or which is false, provided there is an intent to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient. The offence covers letters, writing of all descriptions, electronic communications, photographs and other images in a material form, tape recordings, films and video recordings. Poison-pen letters are usually covered. 
Particularly serious examples may justify a more serious charge, e.g. threats to kill.
The offence is one of sending, delivering or transmitting, so there is no requirement for the article to reach the intended recipient. 
The terms of section 1 were considered in Connolly v DPP [2007] 2 All ER 1012, and "indecent or grossly offensive" were said to be ordinary English words. The fact that there was a political or educational motive behind the accused sending graphic photographs of aborted foetuses did not help her, and her argument that her behaviour was protected by Articles 9 and 10 ECHR (freedom of religion and speech) did not succeed, because the restrictions on those rights were justified under Articles 9(2) and 10(2). 
Section 32 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 amended section 1 making the offence an either-way offence and increased the maximum penalty to 2 years' imprisonment for offences committed on or after 13 April 2015. This amendment allowed more time for investigation, and a more serious penalty available in appropriate cases.”

I spoke recently to a local police officer who deals with cyber crime for the Lincolnshire area at a local tech expo to get some clarification on the matter, and his advice confirmed what I have said to people for a while. It is a prosecutable offence, the police will take it seriously due to the fact that research shows “low level” offences such as this can often see the perpetrator escalate their behaviour if not challenged on it. Best of all he went on to say that online harassment and the transmission of offensive items such as this is relatively easy to prosecute due to the digital trails people leave behind, whereas in the offline world incidents can often be fleeting and not allow for positive identification of the perpetrator. 

What do you do then if you've received a dick pic and the often obligatory abusive wording that comes with it. What next? 
  • Firstly, save the message or screenshot it for evidence.
  • Secondly, ring 101 in the UK to report it to your local police or use the report online service:
That's it! The police will be in touch if they need to speak to you further, but it is essentially not harder than reporting someone on Facebook.

Just like trolling, this kind of behaviour is not normal and should not be allowed to be normalised because it is online. The offline equivalent would be flashing yourself to someone in a public place. They don't get away with it, and neither should anyone else, even if they think having a computer screen between themselves and their target is an acceptable disconnect.

Personally I'd like to see this vile trend wiped out, but as long as people are allowed to think that their online actions have no real-world consequences then this behaviour will continue. I acknowledge that the internet has meant that one person can break the law in another country in a way like this and it may seem difficult to prosecute them, but the more this is reported the more offenders will go to court.

Well that's all I have to say on that matter. In other news, we're on the hunt for a few new regular contributors to add to our staff. If you're interested in doing some reviews or even just a monthly column, please contact us at and we'll take it from there. What kind of person are we looking for? Well we're after people who are motivated, committed and eager to take the time to build up a list of PR and label contacts.

For more information on writing for IVM please visit HERE.

Finally, I'd like to again extend the invitation to established scene DJs, artists, and bands to contribute guest DJ mixes that we will host on Mixcloud. What we're thinking is a series of hour-long mixes showing off new and classic acts which we will feature on Mixcloud as well as the Intravenous Magazine website. If anyone is interested, please contact us at the above email address.

And as always make sure you have these links in your favourites:

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