Sexting (sending naked photos of oneself or peers) is one form of it. Other forms: nonstop text messages from/to a boyfriend or girlfriend (or anyone), a digital form of stalking; sending around unbecoming photos or videos of someone via phone or Web; hacking into a peer's profile and cruelly misrepresenting him in comments that look like they're coming from him; or posting mean comments to someone in her social network profile or via an app like "Honesty Box." "The behaviors can be a warning sign that a teenager may become a perpetrator or a victim of domestic violence," reports the New York Times, citing the view of the San Francisco-based Family Violence Prevention Fund. In fact, the Fund, a public-awareness nonprofit, calls this "digital dating violence," not just "abuse" (it can also be called "cyberbullying"). If not physical, it certainly can do violence to people lives, including the lives of young people who send nude photos of "themselves." For example, this month six high school students in western Pennsylvania were charged with child pornography, three girls with distribution (for taking and sending nude photos of themselves) and three boys with possession, a commentator at CNET reports. The Minneapolis Star Tribune today reported that "all but one of the students accepted a lesser misdemeanor charge, partly to avoid a trial and further embarrassment." But they were charged with serious crimes, and two Florida teens fared much worse in 2007 (see "Teens' child-porn convictions upheld"). "Whatever the outcome, the mere fact that child pornography charges were filed at all is stirring debate among students and adults," according to the Star Tribune. Law professor Mary Leary wrote in the Virginia Journal of Law and Policy last summer that, though prosecution in such cases shouldn't be mandatory, it "should remain an option for the state."
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Mobile rules in the US now too
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments