Did anyone catch that story on Sexting on Good Morning America today ( http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=7337547&page=1)? I was astounded when I saw it. My thoughts go out to the girl's famlies.
What do you as parents do to bring awareness or protect your child from a stiuation like this?
Sexting is lame. This is why I'm working towards creating a bunch of Hubs with teachers that make engaging lesson plans. Kids have to realize, you know, that there's more to these here internetworkwebs than Facebook, YouTube, and...sexting.
The technology to block and filter out these sorts of illicit pictures is at the hands of the service provider themselves. They could simply block pictures from being sent and received from a minor's account. Or better yet, use automatic recognition software to scrub out/hold back the dirty ones.
Its really sad how this is happening in our society today, but you can't blame the kids. There parents aren't learnin'em good sometimes. And peer pressure's a bitch.
The only problem with the service providers blocking out content to minors is it olny works if the child signs up as a minor. Most of the time a 16 year old will register as a 20 year old and bam! there goes any blocking.
Parents need to take a more active role and at least make their kids AWARE of the possible consquences.
Agreed with you. Here's a question...how the hell does any minor sign up as an adult? When you sign up for a contract and phone you have to provide a SSN (or what not), previous jobs, first born, etc. etc.
Being that I used to sell cell phones, I've never signed up a minor (knowingly, anyway) to a plan. Though, I suppose, its much easier with the prepaid option.
Ultimately, however, again, parents need to become more active in their kids lives. But American Idol is on! Waaaah!
I think that kids just need to know to have respect for their bodies. They need to understand that they are in charge of their bodies. It's important for parents to have the "sex talk" with their children and keep it an ongoing, honest, and open discussion.
Very good observation. America likes to busy it's self with "Don't do it! Its a sin! Its bad!"
That never works.
Agreed. I forget the state, I want to say Vermont..but I may be wrong.
They're in the process of, or have already passed legislation regarding this issue.
Basically..its not illegal for two minors in a committed relationship to send sexts. Its illegal, however, for them to post it online where its freely available.
I saw that on tv too. Very sad and dangerous especially with movies on the human sex traffic rings. Glad my parents n school taught us about Street safety. I in turn taught my own kids n they even teach the kids that they babysit
My local paper had run a story on sexting and I thought about writing a hub on it but refrained. I do not like to associate young people on the internet as it can be a very unsafe place. My hub topics are never centered around children as the internet is no place for them. I saw the GMA show and will take their advice and google for information just in case. However, it seemed as though the panel had been handpicked because each one of the parents found that their kids has been sexting. I thought that the advocate on the program wanted to make sure that her audience had experienced texting. Great safety message but the format on GMA took away from the validity of the message. It came off as almost an info commercial when it should have been informative.
"My hub topics are never centered around children as the internet is no place for them."
Personally, I think this is untrue. The internet is a multimedia platform...its basically everything that we use to communicate. As time goes on, all of our television, music, movies, video games, books, magazines, etc, will be spread throughout the internet only.
Would you then...not want your child to partake in it?
I understand your trepidation, and yeah, there's a lot of creeps out in cyberspace. But the odds are if you teach your kids good manners, decent morality, and monitor there actions there is no reason why its more unsafe for a child than going outside to play.
And as far as GMA being an infomercial..thats an interesting thought. Viral marketing, maybe? As they say, all press is good press...
As far as I know, sexting doesn't necessarily involve the internet. It involves a phone, with a camera, or without. Like I said before, I think the importance lies in education. Kids should know about their bodies, how they should be protected, and how they are responsible for themselves. Promising sexual favors, sending nude pics, describing sexual activity, is not appropriate for young immature adolescents. It is important to teach children about sex and the human body. They're going to learn it whether you tell them or not! Should it really be from friends who may be engaging in "sexting" themselves?
Such great points!
But with my last comment, I tried to get across that yes sexting does involve the internet. Your cell phone at one point or another contacts a network of computers. You get texts, you get pix, and these all go through the internet at one point or another.
Whoa, I should have had more of a closer watch on this thread!
First of all if we like it or not the Internet is here to stay! This may be a bit extreme but hopefully you get the main idea; Look at gun safety. When properly trained and schooled hunting and target shooting can be an enjoyable sport. When not trained there is alack of respect and bad things happen. (I am by no means beginning a gun debate just the first analogy that came to mind) The Internet can be seen in the same light. If a knowledge and respect are fostered then safety will come along with it.
With the Internet or a cell phone it comes down to the fact that everyone (including kids) are sooo much more "connected" to the world and each other. Think about it; 6 years ago could you have "mobile" uploaded a picture to your facebook with your blackberry for thousands to see SECONDS after it was taken?
I'm down with ya. Not to detract from the general point of this thread (as if I never do..) but firearms are a reality, and the more responsible people that carry them the less crime there is. Its a simple fact. Look at Texas..or the Virginia Tech shootings. The first one they had students got their guns from their cars and killed the dood. The second time it happened, they had banned guns from the college campus. And it took people longer to disarm the guy. Bad idea.
I light of "carrying guns on campus" check out this news story out of CT this morning. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/loca … Books.html
Thats awesome! I hope it does work...everyone who feels compelled and sane enough should carry a firearm. I'm going to be getting a permit and a gun as soon as possible.
People don't realize that many of us would rather NOT carry a firearm, but I feel obligated to do so to help protect myself and my community.
Now if the kids are under eighteen they should not be sending each other risque photographs. If people are over eighteen it is their business, and you know many couples do it. It is more widespread than some realize. Also, if a committed couple is in a relationship together I think society has no place judging people for what type of photos or texts they send each other. I am talking about adults in consenting relationships only.
If your children are under eighteen monitor their cell phone usage. Basically these kids are just doing what kids did before cell phones. A group of kids got in trouble when I was in junior high for passing around pictures. The difference with a text or an email is it can be forwarded, so monitor your child's access to cell phones and the computer.
As for carrying guns on campus, I do not like the idea of that. Go to a shooting range if you want to do that.
This is why I'm so glad my children are grown. Unfortunately, it's their children who now have access to all sorts of bad influences via cells and the internet. However, kids are going to do what they're going to do. If they have a solid foundation of trust and good information at home, they're less likely to indulge in risky behavior.
Personally, I think it was a sad day when cell phones became cameras and ramps to the net. Why does any kid *need* to be connected to the entire world 24/7???
A couple things a parent should do:
1) Talk to your child about sex, puberty, relationships, feelings, hormones, etc. Keep it an ongoing conversation (not a one sided lecture). If you are too embarrassed to discuss it, or don't feel it is necessary, you might end up paying for it.
2) Your kid doesn't need a camera on their cell phone.
3) No computers in bedrooms.
4) Monitoring software on computers is a possibility, but be open about your child with it. Don't keep it a secret and then bust them.
5) Explain the bad things in the world along with the good. Explain the positive uses of the internet, but that some people choose to use it for bad things.
I was given my first cell phone when I was 14 and took the wrong bus home from school. Oops! But my parents did an amazing job at explaining things that my 14 year old mind (and body) did not understand at the time.
Hopefully, people won't overeact from this whole sexting controversy and start teaching their children that nudity is something wrong, and something they have to be ashamed of.
I agree with you there. Whereas I do not think people under eighteen should be sending these types of pictures for legal and protective reasons, if people are adults what is the big fig about? Adults look at pornography and sketch nude models, so if people are looking for nudity out there they will find it.
On the flip side it looks like some prosecutors have been inflating these sexting cases just to get attention. One girl who was charged with sexting actually sued the prosecutor.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/us/26 … tml?ref=us
"he was considering filing a charge of sexual abuse of a minor against both girls."
Wow - I suppose some people are willing to do anything to give their own career a leg up. Frankly, it is very scary that someone who is supposed to be protecting our rights and safety is doing something like this.
I would think that the issue for such prosecutors may not be advancing their career or other "poor" motives. I think, if they're faced with some situations, they must act within the laws as they are now written. I would think that they have to decide between risking having someone say, "You knew about this and didn't do anything" or having someone accused them over being over-zealous, they may have to let the laws (as written now) be the deciding factor.
Recent awareness of the "sexting" problem could actually lead to some change in the law, that would allow for separating "sexting" from other things. Also, though, maybe it's good for kids to see that, as the laws are now, there could be serious problems if they "sext" or even take part in photographing a minor. If parents can't make kids listen, maybe it's not a bad thing for them to get "scared into" not being so stupid (at least until they're old enough to make a wiser decision).
Hmmm, filing a sexual abuse charge for taking bra pictures during a pajama party -- that seems really over the top to me. I think that is misusing sexual abuse laws.
Having a sexual abuse charge on a child's record for life, just for taking some bra pictures, seems like extremely harsh scare tactics. Who are these pictures hurting? Presumably the key victims are the girls themselves; so how does prosecuting the victims help matters? I don't see who else is hurt by this whole incident.
Well, in America, this already is the case. Janet Jackson accidentally showing a nipple?! Dear God, we've perverted the children! I mean...they don't know what a nipple looks like unless they've looked at their chest!
Sweetiepie: I agree..its weird to think minors would be engaging in such pornographic activities. However, I'm happy to see they're not shooting up dope..or other people.
You are right GM, they could be doing worse things. I think people need to watch their children and watch what they are doing more.
Agreed. Family is the cornerstone of civilization--as well as community, too. Regardless if you've two fathers, two mothers, or the vanilla ma and pa.
Communication, love, understanding, patience...
But its hard for a family to keep a watchful eye on their offspring when they have to work for duckets.
lol - you could always use your offspring as cheap labor. That way, you get duckets *and* they are too busy to get into mischief
Spoken like a true Asian. I remember seeing a special on China awhile back...its more beneficial (and cheaper!) for them to pay people to manually move blocks and buildings around, take out useful resources from them, etc.
It also occupies their civilizations time. And who said communism was bad, now?
Very good advice. I wish more parents and kids have a strong bond of mutual trust where one party doesn't seem over bearing on the other party (and hopefully may help in the long run). I saw the news item and it is shocking. I guess I am at a stage in life where I am over the teenager psyche and yet to have the parent's psyche to understand either view points completely. I just hope whenever we come to that stage we are up to the task.
There was a big thing about some little idiots in the town next to ours, with one kid sending around a bunch of pictures of a girl. Then there were more similar stories just in the viewing area our news, alone.
As a parent, you can try to raise your children not to be stupid enough to think allowing such pictures is ever a wise idea (particularly when your boyfriend/girlfriend is a teenager). All it takes is sharing with one friend (or breaking up with angry boyfriend/girlfriend) - and there's a good chance your half-naked/naked pictures are headed off around the world. You have to hope, too, that your son or daughter understands you're not advising against pictures out of being a "prude", but out of knowing that teenage brains are not finished developing; and a lot of bad judgment goes on during those years. To me, it would seem that someone who would even consider having risque pictures taken of (usually) herself may possibly be a little less devastated if those pictures get out (than someone who is too modest to allow such pictures). So maybe a good part of the time, the thought that having the pictures sent around is such a huge, horrible, thing isn't all that correct. Basically, kids need to ask, "Do I care if this ever gets distributed to the whole world" - and if the answer is "yes", then they had better make their decision based on that.
Since taking pictures without permission is already against the law (so that's not a debatable point with kids), the real issue is being dumb enough to let someone take pictures of you. As a parent, I would hope my kids would never learn "the lesson" the hard way; but if a kid won't listen to adults and decides to be dumb enough to let someone take pictures, then he may have to deal with the consequences if/when they occur.
Does anyone know of Vanessa Hudgens from High School musical? She sent some nude photos to a boyfriend and these ended up on the Internet, but she has never been in trouble with the law for it, even though she was under 18 at the time of the pictures. So I think at times the law is not so fair so to speak. Prosecuting two girls for a bra pic at a pajama party is a bit extreme. I am sure they have learned their lesson already after this whole mess.
Of course the law isn't fair to us versus celebs. When Disney, or other people, have enough money to grease the right palms...you're not going to get in trouble for it.
I think Vanessa Hudgens was 18, of course I could be wrong. I'm thinking this because it is everywhere on the internet and I don't think these massive amounts of websites would risk being prosecuted for distributing child pornography.
Well..yes and no. Probably she was 18 if it has the whole ".com" prefix. But other nations have different laws and since the servers reside in their country, its perfectly legal for them to host such filth in their countries.
Just not legal for anyone over here to view it..or keep it..or transmit it..
I'm off for now all... sweet dreams.
She was sixteen when the pictures were taken, but eighteen when it was leaked. Thus, it is technically still considered kiddie porn, but no one is going to do anything about it because she works for Disney. I think way too much is being made of some of the cases too, such as the one in the LA Times article I linked too. We need to protect kids, but as the article noted the girls were the victims of the pics. How is prosecuting them going to make things better? Probably just adds to their humiliation over the situation.
Damn, I was really busy at work today so I have not been able to keep up. Also, I am new to Hub Pages and I started this thread to get a little feedback about what people were thinking. I am so impressed with some of the insights and comments some of you have to share! I have not seen a more constructive and well written discussion in quite some time. I look forward to future discussions with everyone!
I did not comment on the topic because honestly I have not Really caught up and it would be a little unfair to comment from just skimming each post like I did.
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