(SACRAMENTO) – State Senator Ling Ling Chang (R – Diamond Bar) announced today she introduced legislation to deter the growing online trend of sending unsolicited lewd images. After consultation with global social networking app Bumble and other stakeholders, the Preventing Indecent Content Sharing (PICS) Act was introduced to combat harassment that’s mostly directed at young women online. Senator Chang’s legislation will be amended to make unsolicited lewd images online or via text a crime punishable by a fine. Pew Research states that over half of young women say they received an unwanted explicit photo while online.
“We know from leaders in the tech space that this is a problem. The research shows it’s a problem. I’ve heard from other women in my community, and it’s even happened to me,” said Senator Chang. “It’s time to take this issue seriously. We need to send a message that this culture of online harassment is unacceptable. We need to make online experiences safe and free from harassment.”
Bumble Chief of Staff, Caroline Ellis Roche said, “So much of people’s lives are spent online, yet the digital world has fallen short of protecting us there. What is illegal in the real world needs to be illegal in the digital world. Bumble is committed to working with Senator Chang to making that a reality in California.”
Senator Chang’s legislation comes on the heels of the Texas State Legislature passing the first-in-the-nation law to fine and criminalize the sending of unsolicited nude photos. Bumble successfully pushed this legislation in 2019 and Senator Chang is now bringing that momentum to the Golden State.
Bumble has taken a proactive approach to fighting bad behavior in both the digital and real world. Bumble invests a great deal into the safety and security of its users and recently launched the Private Detector which leverages AI to identify and block unsolicited nude images before they are sent between users.
As a member of the California Legislative Women's Caucus, and a founding member of both the Millennial Caucus and the California Legislative Technology & Innovation Caucus, Senator Chang is uniquely positioned to bring this important online safety measure to California. She has leveraged her expertise in technology to pass legislation to combat cyberbullying and allow state workers to use sharing-economy services during business travel.
The legislation will be soon be referred to a policy committee and considered by the Senate in Spring of this year.
A photo of Senator Ling Ling Chang can be found HERE