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RCMP in Manitoba apologize for Valentine's Day tweet about sharing intimate images

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RCMP in Manitoba are apologizing over a social media post that warned people about sharing intimate images of themselves with others.

On Sunday, Mounties released a Valentine's-Day-themed tweet that said: "Love doesn't always last forever, but pictures do."

The post also read: "This Valentine's keep your privates private" and included a pixelated photo labelled "censored."

Some social media users criticized the message as blaming victims whose images are used without their consent, such as in cases of revenge porn. RCMP later removed the post. 

"We chose the wrong words, unfortunately," Sgt. Paul Manaigre, a media relations officer with the Manitoba division, said Monday.

"We apologize if anyone ... was offended by it."

Manaigre said the post was part of a broader series of tweets RCMP issued to promote internet safety. The message in this particular post was worded poorly, he said.

"Our intent was to bring awareness that, yes, technically, it is legal to take pictures and share it with whoever you wish. The illegal part is the unauthorized sharing without your consent.

"We're definitely not trying to put this on the victims," said Manaigre, who added that police receive many complaints of this nature and take them seriously. 

"We don't want to see people exploited." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press