Tweens/Teens don’t have privacy online.

It’s not known how the police heard about it, but two Florida teenagers were prosecuted for taking sexually explicit photos of themselves and “distributing” them in violation of child-pornography laws. Last month a Florida state appeals court ruled 2-1 to uphold their conviction, CNET reports. What happened was, ‘Amber’ (16) and ‘Jeremy’ (17) [not their real names] took more than 100 “digital photos of themselves naked and
engaged in unspecified ‘sexual behavior.’ The two sent the photos from a computer at Amber’s house to Jeremy’s personal email address. Neither teen showed the photographs to anyone else.” They were both charged
with “producing, directing or promoting” child pornography, and “Jeremy was charged with an extra count of possession of child pornography.” What this case establishes, CNET reports, is that, in Florida, it’s legal for two minors to have sex, but “they’re criminals if they document it.” Criminals, and yet – as the appeals court itself wrote – “children … not mature enough to make rational decisions concerning all the possible negative implications of producing these videos.”

[See link below for more regarding this case]

What can parents do? Aside from the equally important ethical lessons families will draw from cases like these is the online-safety lesson. Young Internet and digital-media users need to know about the four characteristics of online digital media (from social-media research danah boyd at Alternet):

  • Searchability – anyone, friend or foe, can find it.
  • Persistence – anyone can find it basically forever – tomorrow or 30 years from now.
  • Replicability – once they find it, they can share it – in emails, IMs, profiles, on file-sharing networks, etc.
  • Invisible audience – you don’t know who you’re sharing it with; even if your page is private, you don’t know what “friends” will do with it.

Another key take-away: Young people’s tech literacy needs the support of caring adults’ life literacy as they navigate the choppy, uncharted waters of the social Web.

BlogSafety Community: Teens need to know: 4 aspects of …

Danah Boyd’s information (the 4 tips) = the MOST important information to SHOUT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS. These tips are the key to possibly helping kids understand cyberbullying as well.

What kid is uber-eager to start bullying someone when the’re in the middle of a stadium feeling with people staring at them? That’s how they should feel. You’re NEVER alone when you leave your print online… and it’s not the kind of ‘good company’ you plan on spending your days with. It could be anyone. A-NY-ONE. That’s scary.

Kids don’t like standing alone in the middle of a forest because they’re afriad of who is watching… or WHAT is watching… but in a forest you can run away. Once you’ve left your mark on the web, there is no running away. It’s stuck in web-cement.

That initial freaky-forest-feeling should be the feeling they get before they decide to make a personal imprint on the web.

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