Hand holding a mobile phone with text popping out that asks people to send nude imagery of a professor, promising a reward.


Rohini Lakshané

Take Back the Tech! is proud to present this overview paper regarding non-consensual intimate imagery (NCII) by Rohini Lakshané.  It unpacks definitions, the impact on survivors/victims, how morality and victim-blaming is often interwoven in responses, the difficulty of action, types of legislation (and limits) to address it, and, importantly, resources for take-down and coping with NCII.

As noted in the introduction, NCII refers to intimate photos or videos that are captured, published or distributed without the explicit consent of the person(s) depicted in those images. The meaning and connotations of what constitutes an intimate or sexually explicit image changes vastly with social and cultural norms and contexts in different parts of the world. In this document, we define intimate images as sexually explicit, nude or partially nude photos or videos. They are a violation of privacy and of consent, and are a type of technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV). When perpetrated by intimate partners, NCII are also a form of intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic violence. NCII impinge on the victim’s right to privacy, sexual consent, their freedom of (sexual) expression, and right to live free from violence. The majority of the victims of NCII are known to be women or gender-diverse persons. However, NCII victims may belong to any gender or sexual orientation. Symptomatic of the surveillance economy, which threatens the freedom of expression and speech of women, gender-diverse and LGBTQIA+ persons, NCII is often accompanied by personal and identifying details and captured or commodified in order to extort, threaten or inflict harm.

Illustration by Junaid Ahmed Rana

Suggested citation: Lakshané, Rohini, Non-Consensual Intimate Imagery: An Overview (March 25, 2024). DOI: 0.5281/zenodo.10980144. Take Back The Tech https://www.takebackthetech.net/blog/non-consensual-intimate-imagery-overview