Maryland police officers say they have received several complaints about youngsters transmitting revealing images of themselves through social networking sites. Many of the images have been posted on Instagram and other media services. Authorities say that although the distribution of such photographs may appear to be a clear-cut case of computer crimes, however, the nude photographs may not actually be considered child pornography.
Local officers from Anne Arundel County tell news outlets that they are committed to addressing the distribution of child pornography and seeking out those who commit such computer crime. Many of the more recent photographs are not considered child porn, but other sexually explicit images of young people could be considered illegal. Area parents are encouraged to communicate with their children about the serious penalties that can come along with child porn possession.
Under Maryland law, producing, sharing or possessing explicit images of a minor — even if it is of yourself — can sometimes be considered a crime. Maryland attorneys may help clients learn whether they could be prosecuted for possessing certain photographs. It is also critical to remember that defendants may face charges for using the Internet, social media, text messaging or email to harass or engage in cyber bullying.
Parents can take some steps to prevent their children from becoming involved in cyber bullying or other cybercrime. Adults are encouraged to install parental controls and monitor kids’ online activity, in addition to knowing pass codes to every Internet-capable device. Discussing cyber bullying and cybercrime concerns with other parents and school administrators may also be helpful. Together, we can prevent our youngsters from being victimized — or facing criminal penalties — because of cyber bullying, child porn and other online violations.
Source: WBAL TV 11, “Anne Arundel County police address minors sexting, social media” Saliqa Khan, Apr. 10, 2014