Thursday, February 13, 2014

E-Venge

“In 2010, the FBI released statistics on the 20% of teenagers who have admitted to sending nude or semi-nude photos using cell phones or posting them on the internet.” In highschool or college, this typically happens through sexting, sending sexual photos or texts. These messages spread quickly, whether that was the intention or not. In fact, if you were to sext your “significant other” they may keep that picture. In fact, they may be “saving them in case [they] needed blackmail.” (source) There are more and more people using these pictures as leverage, or for revenge. Some of these victims of revenge posting are pushing laws against it. I believe that revenge posting should not happen because it is easily preventable.
Courtesy of Jorge Quinteros via Flikr

The Dangers of Sexting


We trust our friends, because that’s what friends are expected to do. To be trustworthy. If you entrust something very personal to a friend, usually you believe it is in safe hands. Unfortunately, not all relationships last and if your “friends” have that embarrassing picture, or the post that shows the darker side of you, they may expose them. I’m not saying to doubt your friends, I’m saying that you should be careful about what you share.

Marianna Taschinger, a normal young woman is a victim to revenge posting. She was 18 when this happened. Her boyfriend asked her to send him nude photos, or sext him. “He said if I didn’t want to send them to him, that meant that I didn’t trust him, which meant that I didn’t love him” (source). She sent the photos, to prove her love, but later they broke up. Unfortunately, Marianna found her photos online, in a revenge post website with a lot of personal information.

Once you sext your boyfriend or girlfriend, those photos are no longer yours. Those photos are theirs. They also have the ability to do anything they want with them. And if something were to happen and you guys break up, and they’re mad, they can single-handedly ruin your life with just a few clicks. Nowadays, colleges and jobs check applicants’ backgrounds. They research you and look for your digital reputation. If they find those pictures, it is likely that they won’t accept you (source).

Victims of revenge posting report to feeling humiliated, especially if the post was shared with friends or family. It can cause them to feel unsafe, if the post included an address and name. It can make people feel paranoid about their digital reputation (source). These things really change a person’s life and I, personally don’t want this to happen to me. I never send photos texts that seem embarrassing.

Off To Court


There are also legal consequences too. If you are a teenager and you sext someone, it is considered distributing child pornography. “A first time offender convicted of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce under 18 U.S.C. § 2252, faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison” (source). You’ll possibly go to jail for at least 5 years, which is a long time. especially for a teenager.

About a year ago, 10 teenage boys were convicted of the possession and the distribution of child pornography. The boys convinced some girls to send them sexy pictures, "The young girls wanted to charm these guys so they sent the photos”(source). These boys distributed these photos through their phones, email, computers, tablets, and the snapchat app. The police went into their houses, took their phones, tablets and laptops and arrested these boys. They were facing a possible three years in prison. This is some pretty serious stuff, and these boys are 13 to 15 years old.


What is this for though? Is all this worth “proving” your love to your boyfriend or girlfriend? You don’t even know if the relationship is going to last. If someone asks you to sext them a picture, they’re probably not trustworthy. Don’t fall for that trap, don’t mess up your own life.

Conclusion, updated 3/6/2014

Before making this blog, I did not know anything about the consequences of sexting. I definitely understood the concept of revenge, especially since I have a younger brother, but I was never aware of the legal consequences. In my post, I may have focused a little too much on how its your responsibility to prevent "e-venge" from happening. It may have seem a lot like victim blaming. I just wanted to clarify that it is not the victim's fault for anything that may happen. Yes, it is their responsibility to keep track of their photos or information, but a lot of people look past the criminal, because they think the victim could have prevented everything. Learning that sexting at this age is actually illegal surprised me. I never really thought of it as distributing "child pornography". Making this blog was sort of eye opening for me, being one of the few teenagers who never received or sent a sext, now I know a little bit more about the world that I live in. I would also like to thank those who commented, and I apologize for not replying. I totally forgot. You guys left some really great feedback, especially those who asked questions back. When I was researching this, there were no states that had any kind of law against revenge posting, and to hear that there are now two states is pretty great. I believe that we are moving in the right direction. Since I have failed to respond to everyone, I will just answer all the questions right here. (These questions are from VolleyDolly7) I believe that parents could make a small impact on their child's decisions, but make sure you don't tell them in a form of a lecture. That might make them automatically ignore you, I know this from experience. There has been records of victims of revenge posting which dramatically changed their life in a negative way. They most definitely regret their decision, but we should still remember the person who made the photos public. They usually get away with it with no consequences. Thanks for your input! (Next up is Girl15) The Snapchat app allows you to send a picture to someone else. That picture will "self-destruct" and "disappear" after several seconds. What a lot of people don't know is that there is this handy thing called a screenshot. The people who do know, sends their images regardless. This may give people a false sense of security, making them believe that no one else could possibly see the image, so yes, this may encourage sexting. In the article about the boys, there were no records of what happened to the girls. I imagine that they were blamed for the whole thing since there were many people defending the boys, saying that they didn't mean any harm, or they're innocent. Thanks for the feedback! (Question from Paco) I previously answered this same question by VolleyDolly7. I agree that in our society today, it is extremely easy to share things whether its on purpose or not. Thanks for your response! (Question from Markie) I believe that teenagers, or kids in general are mirrors to the world. We reflect what we hear and see and we do what we think is acceptable in society. The teenagers were very open about what they did. They did share the photos with their friends at school. They thought it was an ok thing to do. So, to answer your question, yes. The boys probably did this because of the media and what they are exposed to. Thanks for sharing your opinion! (Questions from Ms. Gerla) I think that the person who received the photos and shared them with the world deserve some kind of punishment. They are actually single-handedly ruining someone's life. I believe that revenge posting should be some kind of crime. Stealing a certain amount of money is considered a felony, but what the criminal took usually can be replaced. Revenge posting takes away someone's privacy, their security, their stability, their jobs, their social lives and so much more. These things are worth more than a thousand bucks. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This conclusion may be a little longer than I expected it to be, but I owe it to you guys, the readers. Thank you so much for your feedback and your opinions.

10 comments:

  1. This was a really informative article. Very good points are made. I think people don't realize the consequences of sending nude photos online. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. This article is very well written and insightful.

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  3. you have a good point if your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you to send them pictures say NO and also break up with them if they make a big deal out like if you don't send them that means you don't trust me that is not the kind of guy or girl who you want to stay with you have a good topic
    good jod

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  4. I liked this article. It was interesting.

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  5. this article was well written, and very informative. it makes good points

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  6. Hello, LovelyDuck14!
    Your article was very thoughtful and relevant to our current generation, and how much technology (texting, Facebooking, etc.,) revolves around it. However, like you said, sometimes if you make a poor decision to send a nude/revealing photo to a friend, it is definitely not guaranteed that it will stay in-between you two; it may spread to others (through social networking sites), and it could risk your online reputation, safety, and/or future. Do you think that parents could take a bigger part in monitoring their children's devices in order to prevent a poor choice, such as "sexting?" Have there been any studies done which proved that a negative online reputation (i.e., an inappropriate photo found) has directly affected that individual's future; if so, does that individual regret his/her choice now? Thank you for this interesting and well-written article.
    --VolleyDolly7

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  7. Hi LovelyDuck14, you have a very compelling argument, and a well written blog. I like how you gave examples of people who were directly affected by sexting. It really helped further my understanding of the consequences of sexting. I agree with you that sending nude photos is a very unsafe thing to do. I specifically found it interesting that colleges and companies research your digital footprint. Sexting therefore can lower your chance of getting into a college and getting a job, and hurt you in the long-run. I noticed that you mentioned that 10 boys distributed nude photos using the Snapchat app. Could you go into more detail? What about the app makes people think they can sext? Do you think this app greatly provokes sexting? Also, I was wondering if the girls who sent the photos to the boys, (even if they were forced) ever got into trouble, since they were the ones who sent the photos. Overall, great job!----Girl15

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  8. Hello LovelyDuck14,
    Your post was very well written and showed me how easy it is to make mistakes. In today's society with smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. it is very simple to take pictures and share them. If you are taking inappropriate pictures it is just as easy to share them as normal photos. Do you think if parents talked with their kids about sharing private information sexting would be less likely to happen? Thanks for sharing this very interesting post.
    -PACO

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  9. Hello, LovelyDuck14! Your blog post offers some great advice, which will hopefully provide some foresight for those sending these kinds of pictures. It's a little shocking that those boys were as young as thirteen. Personally, I find it difficult to imagine myself doing similar. Do you feel that what these teenagers did reflects on aspects such as their parents or the media they're exposed to?

    Excellent work, -Markie

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  10. LovelyDuck14, you have handled a very touchy and sensitive topic with great care, thank you. Advice to protect yourself and make good choices is a sound line of reasoning. But I would like to know more about your opinion on the criminalization of such behavior (revenge posting). I'm curious to know if the teenage boys you referenced were ever sentenced? I just read in this article posted yesterday, that revenge posting is only illegal in TWO states. A woman in Texas was awarded $500K in a lawsuit against an ex-boyfriend. prompting that state to look into legislation that would help prosecute such cases. This feels at times like one of those issues where we blame the victim for his/her predicament because they shared a photo with someone they trusted. Why shouldn't the person, who violated their trust, and publicly exposed private information about them, be held accountable? The initial sharing of the photo may be naive and foolish, but spreading it with the intent to harm another person is abhorrent behavior, and every bit as much a choice a person makes. Nobody deserves to be treated in such a fashion. Is there value in making it clear that revenge posting could be a punishable crime?

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