Teen girl in child porn charges for nude selfies

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A 16-year-old girl in Virginia, US, faces child pornography-related charges after allegedly uploading ‘lewd’ pictures of herself to the social network Twitter, reports Huffington Post.

The girl has reportedly admitted the allegations to police while in the company of her mother; she said that she had uploaded the images to impress male acquaintances.

Even though she is considered a juvenile under that State’s laws, she has been charged with “possession, reproduction, distribution and facilitation of child pornography”.

When selfies go too far…

Selfies are generally considered harmless fun- most teens just snap away at themselves while putting on makeup, hanging with friends or goofing off at the mall. The more sinister side to selfies may occur on online platforms where there’s a false sense of privacy or secrecy.

As we’ve suggested before, teens may share ill-advised content online without considering the deeper implications. Not only can these images be shared almost exponentially, potentially harming the sharer’s reputation for decades to come, but, as in this case, the content may be in violation of state laws, leading to prosecution.

Teens have also shared pictures of themselves drinking (underage) and even committing crimes.

The murky world of online sharing

Online predators are also known to groom children online, one technique being to ask for explicit pictures which can then be used for extortion or to force the kids into providing sexual favours in order to keep quiet and avoid their parents from finding out.

The case in question has had commentators wondering whether or not the girl should have been on the receiving end of such charges, given that the images were of her own body, but the laws are there to protect minors, even from themselves.

It’s worth sitting down with your child and discussing the possible consequences of sharing information, especially images, online. If you suspect your child is not being honest with you about their online activities, you may need to set stronger ground rules or even compel them to go offline.

Do you trust your teen online?

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