The Dangers of Sexting

Logan Reyes
April 4, 2017, 3:13 p.m.    GU


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Under Guam Law, 9 G.C.A §28.100, "sexting" means sending photos or videos where a minor is nude or undressed is a crime.

The law states, minors, meaning anyone under the age of 18, are guilty of a crime if:
-The minor uses a computer or other telecommunication device
-Recklessly or knowingly creates, receives, exchanges, sends, disseminates, transmits, or possesses
-A photograph, video, depiction or other material that shows himself or herself or another minor in a state of nudity

Consequences:

Any minor found to violate this law would be found guilty of a delinquent act that would be a misdemeanor if it could be committed as an adult.

A minor who violates this law is guilty of a separate offense for each individual photograph, video, or other material that shows a minor in a state of nudity.

A second or third offense is a more serious crime which has more serious penalties and may include significant additional incarceration or criminal charge.

Tips for Teens and Kids:

Don't assume that your pictures and videos will stay private once you send them. Once sent or posted, you have no control over where your image will go.

Anything sent or uploaded to the internet is written in stone. It is almost impossible to erase something from the internet. Ask yourself if you really want that image floating around forever before you send or post.

Don't let anyone pressure you to do things make you feel uncomfortable. Your reputation, career, privacy, and safety are worth so much more than being liked or getting likes.

Ask Yourself

Are you okay with explaining an embarrassing photo or video for the rest of your life? Since it is nearly impossible to erase anything from the internet, you will have to live with the consequences for years.

Delete It!

Delete and do not forward any sexual content you might receive online. It is against the law to even store a nude picture of a minor on your phone or computer

Tips for Parents:

-Warn your child about the social and legal consequences of sexting.
-Remind your child to delete any sexual content they receive from others.
-Remind your child to consider the feelings of others when forwarding content online. Even if your child did not send a photo of himself or herself, they will be guilty of a crime if they forwarded a nude photo of another minor.
-Discuss and set boundaries with your child about what they are allowed and not allowed to do online.
-Talk with your kids about who they communicate with on the computer or their mobile phone. Nowadays, it isn't enough to supervise who your kids spend time with in real life. People your children meet online can be just as dangerous so make sure you monitor your children's online activity as well.

Contact:

For more information, contact the office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division at (671)475-3324 ext. 3250 or visit www.guamag.org

This information was provided by Project Foresight and Office of the Attorney General of Guam. Brochures with this information can be found at all IT&E Guam locations.

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