Karen Whybro Wiki
Karen Whybro Biography
Who is Karen Whybro ?
A cyber flashing victim has backed a campaign to make sending explicit images without consent illegal after a stranger sent her explicit images on Instagram.
Karen Whybro of Chelmsford, Essex, said a stranger sent her an explicit photograph of a man’s genitals on Instagram a few weeks ago.
Cyber-flashing is when a close stranger sends a person an unsolicited sexual image on their mobile device via social media, messaging, or other sharing features.
There is currently no law directly addressing cyber flashing in England and Wales, despite the act being outlawed in Scotland 12 years ago.
The mother of one of her said she was thankful that her five-year-old daughter Nancy had not been sitting next to her at the time and had not seen the message.
How old is Karen Whybro ?
She is 42 year old.
She explained: ‘I opened a message request on Instagram to find out that it was an explicit photograph.
Fortunately, my five-year-old daughter, Nancy, was not sitting next to me at the time.
‘I use social media for my business and personal life and I opened the message instantly.
I’ll be honest, she took my breath away. I deleted it, but I would be lying if I said she didn’t affect me.
“The attitude that some men have is that you would like to see it. There is a real arrogance in it, but it is a question of consent. ”
The feminist security activist has called on the English government to do more to prevent strangers from sending unwanted explicit images that violate people’s privacy.
Whybro, owner of the Rock The Frock bridal boutique, also said she felt ‘intimidated’ when a stranger on the London Underground sent her message requests earlier this year.
She said that the man sitting across from her on her tube sent her multiple messages via the AirDrop feature on her iPhone even though she repeatedly deleted the requests from her.
To say I felt uncomfortable is an understatement.
She said: ‘I received several unwanted images via AirDrop and when I looked up, I could see that it was the guy who was sitting in front of me.
“ She kept looking at her phone, sending requests to share images and then looking at me again. To say that I felt uncomfortable is an understatement.
“I found him very intimidating in public even at my age.”
Her first experience of receiving a spam message occurred a few years ago while she was shopping.
Whybro said receiving an unsolicited sexual photograph surprised her more than she thought.
She added: ‘I was surprised by my own reaction, as it surprised me more than I would have thought.
I’m not a prude, but receiving something like that without warning is very unsettling.
“It’s chilling and unacceptable to be subjected to something like this.”
Her first experience of receiving a spam message occurred a few years ago while she was shopping.
She explained: ‘A request to share a note via AirDrop landed on my phone. This was when you really didn’t hear about cyber flashing.
I didn’t think of anything and opened to find several eggplant emojis followed by ‘find me on Snapchat’ and then your identifier.
“ It is disturbing that a stranger on a busy street is watching me as I open a spam message from them. It is very disconcerting.
‘They could see me, I couldn’t see them, that’s the power trip they get from seeing your reaction.’
After her own experiences with cyber flashing, Ms Whybro endorses a Bumble campaign to criminalize the sending of unsolicited sexual images in England.
She said: ‘Bumble is highlighting the need for a law change and they have the technology in place as a deterrent, but they need government support.’
“It is very important to raise awareness about the extent of this problem and the impact it has on the victims.”
Ms. Whybro wants to encourage other victims to speak up about her experience and she also advised people to protect their mobile and social apps.
She said: ‘I updated my phone settings and updated my phone’s identity from’ Karen’s iPhone ‘to something darker to try to deter people from actively seeking to sexually assault women in this intrusive way.
“If you are dating online, use an app with security measures.”
YouGov’s research found that four out of ten millennial women have been sent a photo of a man’s genitals without consent, while data from Bumble suggested that this figure could be even higher.
Findings from the dating website revealed that 48 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 have received an unsolicited sexual photo in the past year alone.
Bumble found that women are disproportionately recipients of explicit photos, which are sent on social media, messaging apps, Bluetooth, AirDrop, and WiFi.
Speaking about the investigation, Ms Whybro said that she does not believe the statistics show the true extent of the problem, as she said it is not discussed.
She added: ‘Girls as young as 12 are getting these messages and they don’t want to have this conversation with their parents or the police.
“ Even at my age I felt embarrassed about it, so it will be difficult to really quantify how much this happens. ”
While some may argue that if the images are unwanted, the recipient can simply delete them, Ms Whybro said she believes it is a privacy violation.
She said: ‘It should be taken as seriously as a physical flash on the street, they want the same reaction as when someone is photographed in person. It’s creepy and it’s not cool.
‘Digital technology is flashing and it is time for the government to step in to protect the victims.
“It was criminalized in 2009 in Scotland. Why is our government so far behind in protecting women?
“Women do not feel that they will be taken seriously because the government has not enacted laws to ensure that victims are taken seriously.
‘It’s a huge invasion of someone’s personal and private space. It’s about consent.
“We need stricter laws to show that this is not okay.”
Bumble launched inter-party parliamentary consultations on November 2 in conjunction with UN Women UK and the gender equality arm of the United Nations.
It comes after similar measures have been passed in other countries, including Scotland and areas of the US, with Bumble calling on England to criminalize cyber-flashing as well.
Cyber-flashing was criminalized in Scotland under Section 6 of Sexual Offense in 2009, while a similar measure was also passed unanimously in the Texas Senate in May 2019.
House Bill 2789 went into effect on September 1, 2019, ruling that submitting a lewd photograph without consent was punishable by a fine of up to $ 500.
After her own experiences with cyber-flashing, Ms Whybro is backing a campaign by Bumble to to criminalise
Earlier this year, a Conservative MP called for cyber flashing to be made a criminal offense to prevent Brits from sending X-rated snapshots to strangers using the AirDrop feature on their iPhones.
Fay Jones, 35, a Brecon and Radnorshire MP, has called for “digital flashing” to become a crime.
She told MPs in January: “The scourge of cyber-flashing, where unwanted and unsolicited indecent photos are distributed to mobile devices, should be criminalized.”
In response, Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins said: ‘We are conducting a call for evidence at this time on the production of a new strategy of violence against women and girls,’ adding: ‘I am very, very aware of the crime you are talking about and I very much want that 21st century type of online crime addressed. ”
Later, Labor MP Liz Twist said: “Will the minister reconsider introducing a legal obligation for public authorities to train front-line personnel to recognize the signs of domestic abuse?”
Ms. Atkins responded, “I see this as a large part of our overall efforts to ensure that people understand what domestic abuse is, the many forms it can take, and how it is everyone’s business.”
Police investigated the first case of cyber flashing in 2015 after an unwanted graphic image appeared on the iPhone of a shocked London traveler.
Three cases were reported in 2016 and 15 in 2017.
Figures released by the British Transport Police show an additional 35 crimes were recorded in the first half of 2019 compared to 34 for all of 2018.
The number of reported cases is also believed to be much lower than the actual number of cases, in part due to the fact that cyber-flashing is not in itself a crime.
Some cases may be investigated under current public decency laws or the Malicious Communications Act, but there are currently no specific provisions for cyber flashing.
Professor McGlynn, an expert on the legal regulation of pornography, image-based sexual abuse and sexual violence, says the Justice Ministry “continues to refuse to act so far” despite a series of reports and calls for changes in the legislation.
She argued that regardless of the “tangible impact” of cyber-flashing, it is still a “violation of civil liberties.”
She said: ‘The bottom line is that we shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of thing. We shouldn’t have to change our AirDrop settings to private, or punish ourselves for not doing it in the first place …
“Cyber-flashing infringes on our right to everyday life, a life without looking over our shoulders, worrying about what is around the corner.”
AirDrop, which is specific to iOS devices like iPads and iPhones, as well as Apple Macs, uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect in short range to other devices.
Its default setting is for ‘contacts only’, which means that only people you know can see you.
But to share information with other people, users can make a change in the settings and change it to “everyone”.
The configuration allows anyone to send an image to that device where, unlike other message applications such as WhatsApp or SMS, the photo appears automatically on the screen.
Then it is up to the user to choose to ‘accept’ the image, although they will have already seen a preview.
Karen Whybro Quick and Facts
- Karen Whybro, 42, from Essex, had called for cyber-flashing to be criminalised
- The mother was sent an explicit photograph of a man’s genitals on Instagram
- She was also made to feel ‘intimidated’ by a man sending her messages on Tube
- There is currently no law in England which directly addresses cyber-flashing