Children and young people are posting thousands of sexually explicit images of themselves and their peers online, which are then being stolen by porn websites, according to a leading internet safety organization.
A study by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) reveals that 88% of self-made sexual or suggestive images and videos posted by young people, often on social networking sites, are taken from their original online location and uploaded on to other websites.
Reams of sexually explicit images and videos are being uploaded by children and young people, the study found. Over a four-week period, a total of 12,224 images and videos were analyzed and logged. The majority of these were then mined by "parasite websites" for the sole purpose of displaying sexually explicit images and videos of young people.
SEXting Is Becoming An Epidemic And Young People Are Paying Very Heavy Consequences! Parents As Well Pay A Very Heavy Consequence for their Kids SEXTING!!
The original pictures and videos were uploaded by young people on to commonplace websites but then stolen by porn sites for display. Of the 12,224 images and videos monitored on 68 different websites, 10,776 were later found on parasite websites.
11 Facts About Sexting
- In the 2010 case United States v. Broxmeyer, the courts defined sexting as "an act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones." This includes both messages and images.
- 1 in 10 teenagers ages 14 to 24 has sent or received a nude image.
- Of those that receive nude messages, 17% will pass it on to another person. Of those 17%, 55% will share it with more than one person.
- 14% of sexters suspected that the receiver shared the image without their knowledge or permission.
- The difference between girls sending pictures and guys doing the same is only 4%. Often people believe that only girls are giving out pictures of themselves, slowly the numbers are becoming more balanced.
- Because these texts are the distribution of nude photos of minors, they can be considered child pornography, an offense with a minimum sentence of 5 years in jail. More recently, states have been trying to consider sexting between teenagers as a misdemeanor.
- 61% of those who had sent a picture admitted that they have felt pressure to do so at least once.
- 44% of teens say it is common, if not ordinary, for the receiver of a sext to share it with others.
- While a large portion of nude images are sent to a romantic partner, 29% of those who have sent sexually explicit messages or images said they've done so with people they've only met and interacted with online.
- When asked why they had sexted, the most common responses were because they thought others wanted to see them, a desire to show off, boredom, or as a joke.
- Some states are instating a "rehab" program for sexters, to teach them the consequences of sending images and the permanence of the internet without charging them as sex offenders.
Sexting, what you don't know... might hurt your teens!
As a parent hoping to prevent sexting, the first thing that you must do is be informed. By understanding how your teen’s specific model of cell phone works, you will be able to review any images that are sent and check the phone bill for strange numbers.
Even more importantly, open the lines of communication about sexting. Teens are in an experimental phase, but if your teen does not understand how seriously dangerous sexting is, then she may be tempted to try it. As a parent, you must first emphasize that these scandalous images should be kept private to protect your teen’s emotional health, and on top of that, sexting is also illegal. If a minor is caught with inappropriate images, they could be charged with child pornography, even if they are the subject of the picture.
Even a small act like passing around inappropriate pictures of others could be a type of bullying that may be punishable by law. If your teen is a participant in a sexting activity, she could be in danger of punishment through both school and state or federal law.
It is our responsibility as parents to open the lines of communication about sexting. Not only does sexting put your teen at risk of legal trouble, but it will also leave her or him vulnerable to emotional issues like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem... a viscous cycle!