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