“Sexting” is a hot topic these days, but what exactly is it? According to About.com Sexting is defined as “the slang term for the use of a cell phone or other similar electronic device to distribute pictures or video of sexually explicit images. It can also refer to text messages of a sexually-charged nature. (A combination of the words “sex” and “texting”).”
Surely you’ve heard some of the recent headlines of scandals due to irresponsible text messaging of both adults and teenagers. “Local police say the seemingly flirtatious pictures are illegal and could have major, long-term consequences.” What some people especially teenagers may consider fun and harmless may actually be criminal; and, some of their messages could lead to indelible ramifications in a severe and harsh reality.
The reality being that some of these “sext” messages can lead to felony charges like possession of child pornography, or other such felonies associated with sexually explicit images-even for just possessing these. According to an article on newsfirst5.com, “The minute you’ve taken that picture you’ve created child pornography, says Sgt. Bill DeHart, the head of the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children task-force. Now you’re in possession of a sexually explicit image, that’s a felony when you’ve sent that to someone else you’ve committed another felony, the person who’s received is committing a felony by just possessing it. He says if convicted the teen could land on the Sex Offender Registry for the rest of their lives.”
This is most certainly something to consider before pressing the send button. As a precaution and to prevent these kinds of situations from even happening, parents can monitor their teens SMS messages and emails with WebWatcher Mobile on BlackBerry devices and SMS messages on Android devices.