Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sexting and First Amendment Rights

JURIST - Paper Chase: Federal appeals court rules against child pornography charges in texting case

Teens Could Get Hit With Child-Pornography Charges For Sexting

In this case, the prosecutor claimed two teenage girls who had topless photos of themselves on several different people's cell phones were practicing child pornography. This case touches on both the obscenity and student speech cases we have been studying in class. In recent months, 'sexting', or sending naked photos has been discussed rather frequently in the media. The 14 year- old girls were wearing bras in the photos and a third friend took the picture. The ACLU defended the teenagers, saying that they never intended for the photo to be distributed and they were just having fun, as claimed in the linked articles. This is interesting because with modern technology how can someone control where a text message gets shared? Are girls wearing bras being obscene? I just think that if the girls were wearing bathing suits it wouldn't have gone this far. The prosecutor wanted the teens to take a class on sexual harrassment and gender identity, the girls refused to take part in the class saying it was a violation of their first amendment rights to have to write essays on things they didn't feel comfortable with. I'm sure there are many other cases like this one going on right now. It is very interesting to see what kind of laws, if any, will be made against text messages and minors.

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