Updated March 2022: There is nothing more devastating for parents and teenagers alike than dealing with the consequences of sexting. A moment's pleasure turns into a disaster leading to ferocious bullying, name-calling, social exclusion. This is the beginning of months of grief for parents and teenagers alike. Teenagers find this unbearable.
First, and this is important, this happens every minute of the day, and it will eventually blow over, but there will be a lot of pain. Our advice is NEVER EVER to take photos. Just don't. If you do, delete, delete, delete. You must delete the photographs there and then. Friends, parents and schools will see them and share. (A fake Snapchat account will distribute photos).
It's a rite of passage for teenagers to test boundaries. It is natural. However, this is one situation that can devastate you: a picture shared privately within a relationship spilt all over the internet. Prepare yourself early in a relationship to say No to a photo request, so when asked, you know how to say No. Coming into the relationship knowing you would not take and share sext photos.
Prepare yourself to say 'No' in a non-confrontational way. Instead of a hard No, find some words that work for you. "I am not ready yet for that yet" hinting that you might be in the future t. Of course, you never intended to. You wanted to prevent an argument.
Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, say their research shows it is friends, not strangers who will share your naked photograph. Perhaps driven by jealousy, anger, mischief. Who knows what?
Really Bad: Your friend has posted you to a porn site, and they won't take it down. Your face is visible, not theirs. Police action will take ages to sort out if the person who posted the video is not helpful. However, we have seen people encouraged into doing the right thing by the police. Common sense prevailing.
Pretty Bad: A friend has nasty footage of you, which they are threatening to post online. Police can resolve quickly if you show them the footage. They will have seen it all before.
Not so Bad: Your friend has pictures that they have not shared online but is threatening to unless you do something for them.
Manageable, just about: A naked shot of you, nothing lewd happening, very embarrassing and demeaning.
Most Police forces are familiar with these situations and have ways of dealing with the situation without threatening prosecution. Our advice is to inform the school, police who have experience in handling these matters. Remember, police are only human. You might need to ask for another officer or come back during a different watch if the police officer you are speaking with is unresponsive. Always ask for a private consultation at the police station.
All the above have very serious online reputation issues.
Rule No. 1 Delete, Delete, Delete.
Rule No. 2 Don't take pictures of yourself or anyone else.
Rule No. 3 Don't forget the first two rules.
What happens when the relationship is over, or people move on? People who have these photos may come back to haunt you in the future. Most celebrities live in fear of this happening.
Wrong. Facebook owners of Instagram and WhatsApp say they have researched this a lot. Here is what they found.
It is worth noting that a small group of people might be a couple of thousand to Facebook.
Under US law, a felon in any country can not enter the US even on holidays. This is a lifetime ban on entering the United States. Britain is considering the same under Brexit border tightening procedures (under counter-terrorism measures).
Most teens don't realise looking at porn is illegal.
Remember, your phone says more about you than anybody or anything else. The police digital scrapping will lead to additional charges being brought. The warrant includes anybody listed on your phone. meaning anyone you have ever communicated can have their phone searched as well.
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1. Report the matter to the police. Make sure you’re speaking with a police officer who understands. They will speak with the other parents involved. Note-Police can only speak to the child's parents, not the kid/teenager in the photograph/film (if under 18)
2. Explain to teenagers sexting is illegal and has serious consequences
3. Threaten to take the phone away or cut the line. The provider will cut the line if it is a bill-pay phone
4. Contact Snapchat, Instagram. Maybe they will co-operate unlikely but try.
5. Refer the matter to a solicitor, which will be expensive.
6. Child/Teen needs care, attention, love.
For most teenagers, this will be the first time they realise parents can't fix everything, frustrating for all involved, resentment flowing in both directions. They want the whole thing to go away and freeze up, stick their head in the sand, scared witless.
If you want to take legal action yourself, talk to the police and consult with them for their guidelines on civil legal action. They'll probably have better advice than a lawyer and don't bill by the hour.
You will need to monitor the child's mental health and general wellbeing. Use it as a warning. It is devastating for parents/children alike, a disastrous first brush with adulthood which will permanently change the relationship.
Articles, links and connections from the BeSecureOnline site you might find interesting.
Article about Online Reputation.
Need to know - Snapchat
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