Self-published child porn in the UK

I just posted on youth as self-published pornographers, but here's an exhaustive take on the subject from across the Atlantic. In the UK so far, 90 UK youth "have been cautioned as a result of posting sexual material of themselves or their underage friends online or on their mobile phones," the Daily Mail reports. I'll tell you more about the piece in a second but want to zoom right in on the operative word "cautioned." Not "arrested," which is what I'm seeing in too many news reports about sexting over here. That, I think, is what has to be law enforcement's role where sexting's concerned: helping youth understand the tragic, potentially life-changing implications of this behavior. Police are often called in when these incidents involving students occur, and rightly so because this is technically child pornography we're talking about, and producing and distributing such is a crime. But where minors are concerned, this is much more a behavioral than a criminal issue, and I feel it has to be dealt with as such. At the very least school counselors and parents need to be involved as well (I'd appreciate your thoughts on this via anne(at)netfamilynews.org or here in our forum). The article's exaggerated in places (e.g., "the avalanche of pornographic material beamed onto every computer screen unless it is actively blocked"), but the reporter, a foreign correspondent who'd just finished researching online pornography for BBC Radio 4 and – before talking with many UK secondary-school students about it – "was not prepared to hear they were also producing it" and to what extent. And she's a mother of three girls, 12, 14, and 15. "I spoke to children from a range of public and state schools. It is certainly not the case that this behaviour is being perpetrated by those from a deprived background or those who lack intelligence. In fact, it's the privileged, supposedly brightest youngsters who are most at risk," she reports.


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