The Danger of Sexting

by catherinefournier on February 9, 2014 - 6:31pm

Sexting is the act of sending explicit photographs or messages to another person in a highly suggestive way in order to lead to sexual encounters. Last November, nine boys, between 13 and 15 years old, were arrested for sexting and possession of child pornography in Laval. In the article “Laval Teens charged in ‘sexting’ case back in court” published in the Gazette, Jason Magder explains the situation and the charges that stand against these young boys. They are accused of producing and propagating child pornography. They sent explicit images of seven girls via Internet from their smartphones or computers. Some of the boys even used the images of their own girlfriend and send them to the other boys. Also, it seems that some of them used the application Snapchat, which is a program where you can send pictures for a short time only and the pictures disappear after.  

I believe this story is horrific. The teenagers are left alone with the use of Internet on their smartphones, which is more private for them than a family computer, and they can proceed to any kind of activities. Also, teenage girls need to understand that sending explicit photographs via Internet is never a good idea, even if it is for someone you love or that you are in a relationship with. These photographs can be found by anyone at anytime or even displayed voluntarily like we saw in this case. Teenagers really need to understand the danger of Internet because cases like this one should never occur again. These girls will forever be humiliated to have done such an act in order to please their boyfriend. Also, these boys will have a record of child pornography for the rest of their life. I believe that if teenagers were more educated in the repercussion of wrong Internet use, there would not be this kind of actions. There should be a class about Internet use and its danger in high school in order to prevent other cases like this one. 

Comments

This is really great that you brought up this article on this website. I’m from Laval, and when this was on the news, it was a shocker to everyone. It is really unfortunate that teens nowadays are misusing the Internet and their devices. You’re absolutely right, this act will be in their permanent record and the pictures cannot be deleted. Teenagers need to be aware of what they’re doing with their smart phones. This is a warning to everyone. Here is another article I found about teenage girl sexting photos of her boyfriend’s ex: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sexting-teen-guilty-of-di....
It is happening in other places as well which is very unfortunate. Hopefully, it ends soon.

I am pleased to see that you posted this issue due to the fact that it is an issue that is continuously growing. In today’s day and age, the use of technology is sky rocketing and that will cause sexting to increase. Sexting was and most likely still is a problem in my high school. I am from the Binghamton area and people constantly would be sharing these photographs, only to have them posted somewhere. Taking and sending these photos of yourself is a risk that too many students are willing to take. Smartphones are making this process even easier, especially with the use of apps like snapchat. Individuals do not realize the consequences that can occur from sending these pictures; people who you do not want to see the pictures may get to view them, they may be saved, and it reflects poorly on your character. I like the idea of putting a class together that would educate students about the dangers of the internet. Perhaps showing some real life examples would further deter the students from this action. The example of how much criticism quarterback Brett Favre received from the media for his sexting scandal could be shown to demonstrate how big a deal it is.

Yes I agree that teenagers need to understand the repercussions of their actions when it comes to technology. Many do not understand that once that picture or text is sent it is out there for anyone to see. A photo can go viral in minutes. I believe that the boys should get charged for sending those pictures. In my opinion, I have zero tolerance for teenagers that make stupid decisions such as sending inappropriate pictures. Many people think that snap chat only makes pictures available for a short time and then they disappear. In reality, every picture, document, or text ever sent is saved somewhere. So somewhere, the snap chat they believed to have disappeared weeks ago is saved on a server. Not to mention the ability for most phones to be able to screen shot, meaning they can take a picture of what shows up on their cell phone screen, keeping it forever.
I also agree with your point that there should be a class on internet use in high schools. However, I feel like it may not help all that much. Scaring kids with possible repercussions often makes them want to do it even more. Health teachers have been trying to scare teenagers out of having sex for decades now, but it hardly works. Teenagers will do whatever they want, and many will not even think twice about the possible effects of their actions, even if they will effect the rest of their lives like in the case of the Laval boys.

It seems as though more and more awareness is being brought to the subject of "sexting." Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am surprised that these young boys were caught doing it. When I was 14, two boys in my class got in trouble for the same thing when a 13 year old girl got her phone taken away in class. Although they were not arrested, they were technically in possession of child porn and guilty of sending it as well. I definitely agree that teens (and even preteens) need to be more educated and even disciplined when it comes to using this technology. However, rather than a class, it should be the parent's obligation to teach their child morals. I believe part of the problem is that they don't understand that once you send something, it is out there forever- even if you send it on SnapChat. Recently in the high school I attended, boys posted naked pictures of a seventh grader on the social media site Instagram and they did not get in trouble. Although it is unfortunate that it had to happen this way, at least the boys were shown that there are consequences to their actions.

I’m glad that someone is finally bringing attention to this subject. This often times is a subject that many people avoid. It is shocking to me that it is occurring at such a young age. Young teens do not realize the long lasting effect of the picture that only took less than two seconds to take. I believe the best ways to prevent this is to start showing the consequences to the young generations. Saying its wrong and to tell young children not to do it is not effective enough. If young children see the consequences before they take the picture, it may prevent long term effects. Consequences should be in place and everyone should be accountable. I also believe that there is an age limit which young children should have access to cameras and the internet. Growing up I was not given access to internet or cameras until high school. Therefore, I was not exposed to the idea of sexting or sending any kinds of pictures. Parents should use their best judgment if their child is mature enough to have access to these technologies. With technology comes responsibility. It is upsetting that this is occurring at such young age, but if children are more aware of the consequences now, the better off they may be in the future.

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