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Apr 05, 2013
We’ve talked about Snapchat before, and warned that using it to sext could get you into trouble. Well, now it’s happened again, and this time, it’s in high school. Some girls at a New Jersey high school took naked pictures of themselves using Snapchat and sent them to their boyfriends. Their boyfriends promptly uploaded the pictures to Instagram. And then the pictures spread to everyone in the school. When school officials heard about it, they warned students to delete all copies of the pictures by a certain date, or they would be charged with possession of child pornography. This wasn’t just an idle threat either. Sexually explicit photos of anyone under eighteen are considered child pornography, even if everyone involved is under eighteen.
Said one girl of the incident, “Everybody got it in 10 minutes. They show their faces right in the picture, so you know it’s them. It’s so dumb."
Ten minutes. Everybody got it in ten minutes. That’s how long it takes a stupid mistake to go from your teen’s bedroom to the entire school. Information spreads much faster now than it ever has before.
Parents, please talk to your teens about sexting. It will probably be embarrassing, both for you and for your teens, but it’s better to be privately embarrassed now than to face the embarrassment and possible legal trouble of inappropriate photos of your teens leaking out to all of their peers.
Some teens might not be swayed, though. One teen said, “Nobody listens; they don’t care.” Consider using an app manager like Net Nanny for Android so you can keep track of what apps your kids have on their phones. In addition to monitoring apps, it is also a web filter, so you can make sure your children don’t stumble across any inappropriate sites as well.
I work for ContentWatch and all opinions are my own.