- You can start by asking the person who shared it to take it down or stop sharing it. Kids report that this works more often than not!
- Ask the service or platform where it was shared to take it down. If you’re under 18, they may be required by law to take it down, and most also have a policy of taking down any photos that were shared without the subject’s permission.
As a parent, you may find some relief in learning that fewer youth take and send sexts (nude or semi-nude photos) than you may think. However, almost half of youth who have taken and sent a sext say that the recipient then forwarded that image to other people without their consent. This culture of sharing among youth is a major concern and can have devastating consequences for the person in the picture and the person who forwards it.
Half of Canadian youth aged 16 to 20 have been sent a sext (a nude, partly nude or sexy photo) that they didn’t ask for. Whether you call them sexts, nudes, naked selfies or just pics, if you receive an intimate image like this, it’s your job to make the right choice about the sender’s privacy. There is no excuse to forward a sext that someone sent you.
It’s hard to think of a recent digital technology issue that’s captured the public imagination more than sexting. This may be because it combines elements of the classic moral panic with more modern “technopanic,” provoking worries not just about the morality of our children – and, in particular, young girls – but also about the possible effects of technology on how we grow, think and behave. As with most panics, of course, the issue is substantially more complicated and less sensational than we perceive it to be, and while it’s unlikely that our worries about sexting will ever seem in retrospect to be as absurd as our grandparents’ fears about crime comics, MediaSmarts’ new data shows that many of our beliefs and assumptions on the subject need closer examination.
Sexting is most likely to have negative consequences when the person sending the sext has been pressured into doing it.