Off Message: Coco’s Law is welcome, but it’s long overdue

The new legislation is a laudable step in the right direction to prevent individuals being harassed and blackmailed over sexual images of themselves. So why wasn’t it brought in long ago?

3rd January, 2021
Off Message: Coco’s Law is welcome, but it’s long overdue
Nicole ‘Coco’ Fox Fenlon took her own life in 2018 after a period of prolonged abuse online. Pictured is Jackie Fox Fenlon, mother of Nicole Fox Fenlon who died of suicide, who held a vigil outside the Dáil to highlight the issue of bullying and the need for better mental health services intervention. Picture: RollingNews

I was thrilled to hear that Coco’s Law had become a reality last week. Known formally as the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017, the law makes illegal the taking, distributing, publication or threatening to distribute intimate images without consent.

It means that Ireland, once an inadvertent haven for crimes of this nature in relation to the rest of Europe, now has protection for those vulnerable to being exploited online. For those...

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