If people are not being prosecuted for these acts, the fault lies in the social alchemy of law enforcement, the way the human prejudices of judges, juries, and prosecutors inflect the black letter.Put otherwise, the power is there—the cultural mores are what is preventing the laws from being successfully invoked.In a You Tube video she left behind, Todd told the tale by flash card, set to a maudlin song called “Hear You Me.” Her story is this: A few years ago, she was chatting with someone she met online, a man who flattered her. He asked her to put on another show for him, but she refused.
Specifically, it obscures truths about the practice—first, that this kind of thing is not merely the province of children who know not what they do.
But, as the scholar Mary Anne Franks has observed, women haven’t actually achieved this “bodiless” freedom online.
They are embodied in distributed pictures and in sexual comments, whether they like it or not.
At the federal level, there is the Federal Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act, which covers harassment that crosses state and national lines.
While all of these laws are subject to the limitations of the First Amendment, the First Amendment generally doesn’t protect threats and harassment.