Legislation and Sexting Panic

hasinoff coverYoung people, especially teenagers, are quick to adopt new technology and incorporate that new technology into their every day behavior. These “early adopters” are prized consumers for the tech industry, who are always looking for the next trend on which small fortunes can be built.

One thing that teens and preteens have adopted in a big way is sexting. And, as seen with a recent incident at a Colorado high school, parents and local authorities aren’t sure how to handle it.

When it comes to the legal system, state laws seem to be far out of step with the behavior of minors. Sexting has been unevenly prosecuted across the U.S., and existing laws can hold up the consensual sharing of nude photos between teenagers as the distribution of child pornography.

Many states are working to create law that specifically addresses sexting. Sexting Panic author Amy Adele Hasinoff has weighed in on legislation proposed in many states to charge minors who sext in an New York Times op-ed.

The new laws, as Hasinoff sees them, may create unforeseen problems.

“I think this new law is making this issue a lot worse,” Hasinoff told CBS News. “A lot of prosecutors are really hesitant to really use child pornography laws against teenagers.”

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