U.S. Navy makes sharing nudes online without consent a punishable offense

Rule change follows scandal in March

Sailors and Marines who share nude pictures of service members online without consent are now committing a punishable offense, according to new regulations the Navy announced this week.

RELATED: Ex-Navy secretary: Nude photo scandal is inexcusable

Posting intimate photos online is now considered wrongful if done "to realize personal gain;" "to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person;" or if it is done "with reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened, or coerced.”

Sounds like common sense, but a military photo sharing scandal came to light in March when officials disclosed that links to hundreds of explicit photos of female Marines had been posted to a private Marine Facebook page with 30,000 members.

“A subsequent review determined that only a small number of individuals were actively involved in sharing nude photos of female Marines,” ABC News reports.

Investigators announced 27 individuals were involved — of those, 15 were active duty military personnel.

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