1. Teens who `sext’ racy photos charged with porn

I did say a lot was happening recently, didn’t I? This is one last new trend I think interesting to investigate. Without too much of my opinion, sexting is a new trend developing as individuals (especially high school students) text message (SMS, multimedia message) friends pictures of themselves in a sexually revealing manner to flirt with/tease one another. Legally, however, these photos may be illegal given the age of many participants. Some prosecutors are charging youth with child porn felonies for sending or receiving such messages.

The NPR story is new, but this trend is a bit older than this blog. Below I pasted some previous notes from older stories on this topic. These notes where written at the beginning of December and represent an amalgamation my interpretations and quotations from the respective stories.

Technology adds distance? Makes more brazen?
One other comment on what I think links the sexting stuff and the KFC story together – the teens on the Today Show sexting story talked about the distance technology adds into the equation, allowing them to do more brazen things than what they would do in real life. I talk about this a lot when I speak on cyberbullying – the girls aren’t thinking about photos being passed around or imagining themselves in a room full of teen boys looking at them as they took the photos. Just as the KFC trio didn’t think about a co-worker watching them bathe. Technology does make it easier to flirt, bully, share and do other stuff you wouldn’t do face-to-face.

  • “Sext Me.” NBC – 4 KNBC: Video (Los Angeles, CA) December 10, 2008, Local: NewsBank Access World News. . (Video)

Just because a message is meant to be fun doesn’t mean the person who gets it will see it that way. Four in ten teen girls who have sent sexually suggestive content did so “as a joke” but many teen boys (29%) agree that girls who send such content are “expected to date or hook up in real life.” It’s easier to be more provocative or outgoing online, but whatever you write, post or send does contribute to the real-life impression you’re making.

Once post can never delete:
Facebook policy, account termination leaves messages, photos, etc.
What control does a consumer have? What control should they have?
Restricting Access, Making redistribution criminal, etc.

The computer mediated communication theory says the absence of social context clues is the major distinction between computer-mediated communication and face-to-face conversation. The theory emphasizes that participants in a computer-mediated conversation often lose attention easily because there is no one physically present to stop them from doing so.

  • Sonya Cisneros. “Sunday night ‘sext’ messages ruining traditional booty calls.” Daily Skiff, The (Texas Christian University) (Fort Worth, TX) March 20, 2008, State and regional: NewsBank Access World News. .
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