Mary Anne Franks

Professor of Law and Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair

Social Justice/Public Interest Concentration Affiliated Faculty
J.D. 2007, Harvard Law School
D.Phil 2004, Oxford University
M.Phil 2001, Oxford University
B.A. 1999, Loyola University

Mary Anne Franks
Phone: (305) 284-5345
Office: G385

Mary Anne Franks, Professor of Law and Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair, is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on the intersection of civil rights and technology. She teaches classes on criminal law, criminal procedure, First Amendment law, Second Amendment law, family law, and law and technology. Professor Franks is also an Affiliated Faculty member of the University of Miami Department of Philosophy and an Affiliate Fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project (ISP). 

Dr. Franks is the author of the award-winning book, The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech (Stanford Press, 2019). In 2020, she was awarded a grant from the Knight Foundation to support research for her second book, Fearless Speech (expected 2022). Her scholarship has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the California Law Review, and UCLA Law Review, among others. Dr. Franks has also authored numerous articles for the popular press, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Newsweek. She has delivered more than a hundred lectures to a range of audiences around the world, including law schools, domestic violence organizations, law firms, and tech companies. She was named a member of the American Law Institute in October 2018. 

Dr. Franks is the President and Legislative & Tech Policy Director of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating online abuse and discrimination. In 2013, she drafted the first model criminal statute on nonconsensual pornography (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”), which has served as the template for multiple state laws and for pending federal legislation on the issue. She also served as the reporter for the Uniform Law Commission’s 2018 Uniform Civil Remedies for the Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act. Dr. Franks is a principal investigator for a 2020 National Science Foundation grant project, COVID-19 and sexual cyberviolence: Impact on general users and vulnerable populations. She regularly advises legislators, tech industry leaders, and advocacy organizations on issues relating to online privacy, sexual exploitation, extortion, harassment, and threats.

Dr. Franks holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School as well as a doctorate and a master’s degree from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She previously taught at the University of Chicago Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law and at Harvard University as a lecturer in social studies and philosophy.


The Second Amendment’s Safe Space, or the Constitutionalization of Fragility, 83 Law & Contemp. Probs. 137 (2020).

How the Internet Unmakes Law, 16 Ohio St. Tech. L.J. 10 (2020).

The Internet As A Speech Machine and Other Myths Confounding Section 230 Reform, with Danielle Keats Citron, 2020 U. Chi. Legal F. 45 (2020).

The Cult of the Constitution, Stanford University Press, (2019).

“Not Where Bodies Live”, Free Speech in the Digital Age 137-149 (2019).

Beyond 'Free Speech for the White Man': Feminism and the First Amendment, Research Handbook on Feminist Jurisprudence (Robin West & Cynthia Grant Bowman eds.) 366 (2019).

"Not Where Bodies Live": The Abstraction of Internet Expression, Free Speech in the Digital Age (Katharine Gelber & Susan J. Brison eds.) 137 (2019).

The Cult of the Constitution, Stanford University Press, (2019).

Sex, Lies, and Videotape: Deep Fakes and Free Speech Delusions, with Ari Waldman, 78 Md. L. Rev. 892 (2019).

The Miseducation of Free Speech, 105 Va. L. Rev. Online 218 (2019).

A Thousand and One Stories: Myth and the #MeToo Movement, #MeToo and the Politics of Social Change 85-95 (2019).

The Crime of “Revenge Porn”, The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law 661-692 (2019).

Injury Inequality, Injury and Injustice: The Cultural Politics of Harm and Redress 231 (2018).

Justice Beyond Dispute: A Book Review of Digital Justice, 131 Harv. L. Rev. 1374 (2018).

Fearless Speech, 17 First Amend. L. Rev. 294 (2018).

How Can the Law Respond to Online Harassment?, Mediating Misogyny : Gender, Technology, and Harassment (Jacqueline Ryan Vickery & Tracy Everbach, eds.) 404 (2018).

Moral Hazard on Stilts: Zeran’s Legacy, The Recorder (2017).

Democratic Surveillance, 30 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 425 (2017).

"Revenge Porn" Reform: A View From the Front Lines, 69 Florida Law Review 1251 (2017).

The Desert of the Unreal: Inequality in Virtual and Augmented Reality, 51 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 499 (2017).

How Stand-Your-Ground Laws Hijacked Self-Defense, Guns and Contemporary Society: The Past, Present, and Future of Firearms and Firearm Policy 141 (2016).

Men, Women, and Optimal Violence, 2016 U. Ill. L. Rev. 929 (2016).

Where the Law Lies: The Costs of Constitutional Fictions, Law and Lies: Deception and Truth-Telling in the American Legal System (2015).

Real Men Advance, Real Women Retreat: Stand Your Ground, Battered Women’s Syndrome, and Violence as Male Privilege, 68 U. Miami L. Rev. 1099 (2014).

I Am/I Am Not: On Angela Harris’s "Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory", 102 Cal. L. Rev. 1053 (2014).

Criminalizing Revenge Porn, with Danielle Citron, 49 Wake Forest L. Rev. 345 (2014).

How to Feel Like a Woman, or Why Punishment is a Drag, 61 UCLA L. Rev. 566 (2014).

Sexual Harassment 2.0, 71 Md. L. Rev. 655 (2012).

When Bad Speech Does Good, 43 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 395 (2012).

Lies, Damned Lies, and Judicial Empathy, 51 Washburn L.J. 61 (2011).

Unwilling Avatars: Idealism and Discrimination in Cyberspace, 20 Colum. J. Gender & L. 224 (2011).

There Ought to be a Law: The New Crime of “Revenge Porn” , Applied Ethics in Criminal Law .

Combating Non-Consensual Pornography: A Working Paper, SSRN Electronic Journal.

Criminalizing Revenge Porn: A Quick Guide, SSRN Electronic Journal.

Drafting an Effective 'Revenge Porn' Law: A Guide for Legislators, SSRN Electronic Journal.

Protecting Privacy and Security in Online Instruction: A Guide for Students and Faculty, SSRN Electronic Journal.

Safety, Self-Defense, and Stand Your Ground Laws, SSRN Electronic Journal.

The Internet As a Speech Machine and Other Myths Confounding Section 230 Speech Reform, with Danielle Citron, SSRN Electronic Journal.

Where the Law Lies: Constitutional Fictions and Their Discontents, SSRN Electronic Journal.

 Media Appearances

New Yorker March 5 2018 The N.R.A. Lobbyist Behind Florida's Pro-Gun Policies

New York Times February 26 2018 A Governor Is Charged With 'Invasion of Privacy,' but What Does That Mean?

Yahoo Lifestyle February 26 2018 Blac Chyna's lawyer calls release of revenge porn video a crime - but what exactly is it?

Gizmodo February 15 2018 Revenge Porn Is Officially Punishable by Law in New York City

Miami Herald February 8 2018 Should teachers go to prison for romances with students? State lawmakers think so

Refinery29 February 7 2018 The Deep, Dark World Of Fake Porn

Gizmodo February 6 2018 For Survivors of Domestic Violence, Revenge Porn Is the Awful New Norm

Kansas City Star January 26 2018 'Revenge porn' bill receives renewed attention amid Greitens investigation

Wired January 26 2018 People can put your face on porn - and the law can't help you

The Independent January 18 2018 Donald Trump one year on: How the Twitter President changed social media and the country's top office

The Independent January 18 2018 Donald Trump one year on: How the Twitter President changed social media and the country's top office,

Le Monde December 25 2017 La lutte contre le « revenge porn » avance à petits pas

CNN December 21 2017 Death threats are forcing professors off campus

Vice News December 21 2017 It’s easier than ever to get away with murder in Florida

Buzzfeed December 01 2017 Women Pioneered The Debate On Platforms. Now Men Are Commandeering It

How Stuff Works December 1 2017 NRA Insurance Protects Gun Owners Shooting in Self-defense

Utica Observer-Dispatch November 30 2017 Revenge porn laws could gain traction

Gizmodo November 29 2017 We Need a National Revenge Porn Law, But This Bill Is Flawed

Miami Herald November 29 2017 Pics of Miami medical students posted to sex fetish sites. The suspect is a classmate

Elle November 27 2017 Whitney Wolfe Helped Women Score Dates. Now She Wants to Get Them Their Dream Job

Washington Examiner November 27 2017 Is Rep. Joe Barton the latest harasser or a victim in nude selfie case?

Gizmodo November 16 2017 Revenge Porn Is Finally Criminalized In New York City

Jezebel November 16 2017 Why It's So Hard to Make Revenge Porn Laws Effective

Slate November 16 2017 The Law That Let Silicon Valley Stay Clueless

Cio November 15 2017 Facebook takes on non-consensual intimate images

New York Times November 10 2017 Reddit Bans ‘Incel’ Group for Inciting Violence Against Women

CNN October 16 2017 Australia takes on revenge porn

Gizmodo October 16 2017 Australia Launches First Nation-Wide Reporting System for Revenge Porn

Daily Beast October 7 2017 Why Every Parent Needs to Know About Sextortion

Think Progress September 18 2017 EXCLUSIVE: Department of Justice turns a blind eye to online stalking and abuse

Hollywood Reporter September 14 2017 How First Amendment Battles Are Shaping Up in the Social Media Age

Guardian August 23 2017 Sexual harassment and the sharing economy: the dark side of working for strangers

Engadget August 16 2017 Twitter’s dilemma: What to do with Trump

Wired July 8 2017 Sorry, but you need to care about Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian

Washington Post, Facebook is testing ways to stop people from stealing profile pictures June 21 2017

BBC, Michelle Carter: What the texting suicide case tells us June 17 2017

USA Today, Texting suicide verdict could set bad precedent, legal experts say June 17 2017

CNN, Facebook's imperfect fight against revenge porn June 1 2017

Washington Post, Why Facebook’s censorship problem may not get any better any time soon May 22 2017

Rolling Stone, How Two Marines Helped Bring Down Revenge Porn on Facebook May 5 2017

CNN Hunt for Facebook Murder Suspect Ends With His Suicide, April 18 2017 Hunt for Facebook Murder Suspect Ends With His Suicide,

CNN, Facebook Launches Photo-Matching Tools to Combat Revenge Porn April 5 2017

Wall Street Journal, Facebook Takes Aim at ‘Revenge Porn,’ April 5 2017

NBC, Marines Photo Scandal: What Can Revenge Porn Victims Do? March 10 2017

NPR, 1A, Sex Crimes in Cyberspace March 9 2017

Wall Street Journal, Facebook, Rushing into Live Video, Wasn’t Ready for Its Dark Side March 6 2017

Wall Street Journal, Another Live-Streamed Suicide Puts Spotlight on Social Media Ethics January 25 2017

BBC, Should you be allowed to delete yourself from the internet? January 16 2017

BBC, Conversations with a Hacker January 15 2017

Wall Street Journal, Live Video Grows as Platform to Broadcast Violence January 12 2017

CNN Ethical questions over Facebook Live January 6 2017 Ethical questions over Facebook Live

Reuters, Facebook Live streaming of shooting spotlights ethical, legal policies July 8 2016

New York Times, Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker, May 25 2016

New York Times, As ‘Sextortion’ Proliferates, Victims Find Precarious Place in Legal System May 10 2016

The Takeaway, Legal Experts Remember Scalia's Best and Worst Opinions February 19 2016

Bitch Magazine 2015 Interview, "Information Superhighway Patrol: For Mary Anne Franks, Cyber Harassment is a Civil Rights Issue"

Washington Post, George Zimmerman was suspended from Twitter after doxing an ex-girlfriend December 3 2015

Wall Street Journal, 'Sexting' Case Rocks Colorado Town November 8 2015

Women’s Media Center, Live with Robin Morgan, October 24 2015

This Week in Law October 16 2015

Washington Post, N.C. just prosecuted a teenage couple for making child porn - of themselves, September 21 2015

Fusion, Miami Porn: Sex Work in the Sunshine State July 19 2015

Glamour June 2015 Interviewed by Rashida Jones, Can a Feminist Like Porn?

CNN, Google bans revenge porn June 19 2015

New York Times, Google to Remove 'Revenge Porn' Images from Search Results, June 19 2015

CBS May 20 2015 Featured on CBS Miami's "Women to Watch"

Washington Post, The revenge pornographers next door March 19 2015

HuffPost Live, How Celebs Are Challenging Online Hate Speech March 18 2015

Thom Hartmann’s The Big Picture, Everything You Know is Wrong - About Revenge Porn March 3 2015

Washington Post, Activists in the war against revenge porn are finally seeing results, February 20 2015

Washington Post, The government just took a huge step in the fight against revenge porn January 30 2015

New York Times, Law Firm Founds Project to Fight ‘Revenge Porn,’ January 29 2015

HuffPost Live, Will the Supreme Court Protect Online Threats? December 1 2014

C-SPAN, Technology and Sexual Privacy, November 6 2014

Al Jazeera America, Consider This, Did the DEA Cross the Line With This Fake Facebook Account? October 8 2014

Washington Post, The Legal System Hasn’t Adapted to What Jennifer Lawrence Calls a “Sex Crime,” October 8 2014

New York Times, Campus Police Acquire Military Weapons September 21 2014

Daily Dot April 15 2014 Interview, "Meet the Krav Maga-Fighting Law Professor Behind U.S. Revenge Porn Laws"

New York Times, The Gun Report March 26 2014

MSNBC, Can women stand their ground? Depends on the target March 20 2014

New York Times, Florida Self-Defense Law Hung Over Jury in Michael Dunn Trial February 16 2014

Bloggingheads Interrobang, Online Harassment and Free Speech January 16 2014

The Rhodes Project 2013 Interview, "Profile with Mary Anne Franks"

Newspaper: Miami New Times November 28 2013 Interview, "Mary Anne Franks, Dangerous Mind"

Wall Street Journal, Anti-Revenge Porn Activists Seek Federal Law November 25 2013

Your Weekly Constitutional with Stewart Harris, Revenge Porn, (featured guest November 22 2013

The Garland Report, Masculinity in Crisis, October 29 2013

Al Jazeera America, The Stream, Haunted in Cyberspace after Domestic Violence October 22 2013

National Public Radio, All Things Considered, Calif. Bans Jilted Lovers From Posting ‘Revenge Porn’ Online, October 2 2013

New York Times, Victims Push Laws to End Online Revenge Posts September 23 2013

Wall Street Journal, Zimmerman Murder Trial Begins, June 24 2013

Wall Street Journal, Zimmerman Murder Trial Begins, June 24 2013

Ocean Drive May 28 2013 Interview, "Local Law Professor Promotes Self-Defense"

The Today Show, 'Revenge Porn’ Victim Fights Back: ‘I Was Terrified’, May 3, 2013 May 3 2013

National Public Radio’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, Justice, Social Media, and the Rape Case in Steubenville, (featured guest) March 18 2013

Radio New Zealand’s Saturday Morning program, Creepshots and Bullying, (featured guest), September 29 2012

The Today Show, The Trial of the Girlfriend-Adopting Millionaire, March 6 2012

ABC News, Casey Anthony Trial: Her Father Fights Back, June 15 2011

 Presentations & Awards

Cyber Confidential: The Challenge of Revenge Porn. (March , 2017)

Augmented Inequality (January , 2017)

Intersectional Privacy (February , 2017)

First Amendment Fanaticism (April , 2017)

Guns, Speech, and Sex: The Rise of Constitutional Extremism (September , 2016)

“Revenge Porn” Reform in the United States. (October , 2016)

Emerging Legislation on Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women (October , 2016)

Revenge Porn Reform: A View from the Front Lines (October , 2016)

Who’s Afraid of Revenge Porn Laws? and First Amendment Fundamentalism (June , 2016)

The Future of Sexual Privacy (February , 2016)

Women’s Online Equality (October , 2015)

Privacy and Privilege (October , 2015)

Fighting Fundamentalism (November , 2015)

Understanding Online Harassment (March , 2015)

Shutting Down “Revenge Porn”: Progress and Challenges (June 2, 2015)

The Democratization of Surveillance (June , 2015)

The Democratization of Surveillance (June , 2015)

The Legal Consequences and Challenges of Online Abuse (July , 2015)

Mary Anne Franks
Phone: (305) 284-5345
Office: G385
Faculty Assistant


Phone: (305) 284-2476
Office: G387

Area of Expertise

  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Cyber Law
  • First Amendment