A career in Pornography? You may already have one.
With the rise of technology, posting pictures online of everything from food to cats that look like Hitler has now become commonplace. Facebook shows photos of nights out, Instagram allows us to let everyone know what we're doing right now, and we can even post video snapshots of our lives on YouTube. Mobile phone apps such as WhatsApp and BBM make it even easier to share images with friends. However, what happens when those images are explicit, and an innocent 'sext' takes on a more sinister role?
That's what happened in 2009 when images, which American teen Jessica Logan sent to a boyfriend, were circulated around her school and on the Internet when they broke up. Labelled a 'slut', she stopped going to school and tragically took her own life. And with more and more teens 'sexting', the chances of such images appearing online has increased. A recent survey by the Internet Watch Foundation suggests that 88% of sexual images and videos made at home end up on the web. And an alarming number of these will make their way to more hard-core porn websites.
The use of chat-rooms to persuade users to strip off, before telling them they've been recorded, is becoming increasingly commonplace. The destination for such videos? X-rated websites, without the permission of the participant. It could be argued that baring all to a complete stranger isn't a great idea in the first place, however often the victims are either young, or tricked into thinking they're taking part in a mutual and private experience. Shocking incidents such as when a 14 year old girl sent an explicit video to a boyfriend, only for him to break up with her and circulate it to friends, are becoming far too common.
In fact, whilst researching this article, HCX was shocked at how many stories we heard about sexting gone wrong. One girl remembers being shown photos of a friend’s girlfriend, whilst another recalls an embarrassing incident of photos being sent to the wrong person. A more high profile example brought to mind is that of Tulisa, the X-factor judge who’s ‘home movie’ made it onto screens worldwide earlier this year. It's doubtful that anyone who takes a picture for a loved one expects it to be seen by anyone else; even less, to make them the star of an online porn show. However increasingly, this is the case.
Without generalising or blacklisting sexting, it seems that caution is the key word. Whilst everyone we asked was adamant that they would never share intimate pictures of a girlfriend or boyfriend, the chances of someone else finding the images are ever-present. And even more worrying is the fact that they could then end up on porn sites – especially when the subject is sometimes under 16. Sites like ChatRoulette make it very easy to interact with potential victims. If you've ever used it, you'll know that the likelihood of seeing someone offering to bare their boobs, or display their nether regions, is extremely high!
With the death of teen Amanda Todd last month after a man she met online blackmailed her, having persuaded her to show her breasts then saving and circulating the image, sexting is receiving increasingly negative attention. Apps are now available which let the sender limit how long a picture is available for, thereby reducing the likelihood of anyone unexpected seeing it. HCX wants to know – what do you think? Is caution enough, or should nudity stay off camera?
Photo Credits: thetimes.co.uk, chacha.com